Black Bean Salad

Ronnie's mom gave me this recipe and its absolutely delicious - probably one of my favorite black bean recipes. It doesn't save well overnight because of the avocado so plan on serving immediately after making.

3 ears fresh corn
3-4 tbs lime juice
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
30 oz black beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
2 large tomatoes
2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped finely
1 small purple onion
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Place corn in boiling water for 5 minutes or until cooked. Drain and cool. Cut corn from cub.

Whisk together lime juice, EVOO, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Add corn, black beans and remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 30mins-1hour. Yields 8 servings

Click here to read about black bean's health benefits and nutritional facts at the World's Healthiest Foods website.


Healthy Cleaning

Environmentally safe cleaning products can be expensive. "Green" dish soap, dishwasher soap, detergents and all-purpose cleaners are generally a lot more expensive than the chemical based cleaners. However, by creating your own products you can save money and use products that are not harmful to your health or the environment. Here are a few recipes that I have tried...

Laundry Detergent:
I found a variety of laundry detergent recipes online and made a powdered detergent back in November. It has lasted a really long time, I am just now starting to run low. I can't remember exactly how much I spent on all the ingredients but I would guess around $20. Seven months of detergent for two adults is a little over $2.85/month. That is not bad considering the other green laundry detergents are much more expensive and last for substantially less amount of time. Anyway, here is the recipe for the detergent that I use...

12 cups Borax
8 cups Baking Soda
8 cups Washing Soda
8 cups Bar soap (grated)

Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub. Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.

**Tip: The recommended soaps to use are Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.

Click here to see this recipe and other detergent recipes at TipNut.com

All Purpose Cleaner
This makes about 2 cups of formula, and it works really well cleaning dirt and grime.

1/2 teaspoon baking soda or washing soda
2 teaspoons borax
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
2 cups hot water

Combine all the ingredients and the water into a spray bottle. Shake well. This is a great formula for cutting grease. Find this recipe and others here.

Vinegar Cleaner and Deodorizer
Pour 1/2 white household vinegar and 1/2 water into a spray bottle. Use it to clean countertops and cut grease on the stove. Vinegar kills mold and mildew and is a natural deodorizer.

Bathroom Cleaner

To clean the bathtub, you can sprinkle baking soda in your tub or sink. Add some water to form a thick paste. Scrub all areas and then rinse clean.

This Week's Flowers

This week's flowers from my local CSA include a yellow snapdragon, white saponaria, purple bachelor buttons and sunflowers. Instead of using the typical glass vase, I pulled three glass jars from recycling - two milk jugs and a jelly jar. I washed them out and peeled off the labels then separated the flowers into three small bouquets.


"Ryan" by Chris Landreth

My recent blog poll showed that readers wanted "more" posts about art and new media. Frankly, I’m glad that it got the votes yet embarrassed that it took a poll to get me to write about the subject. I’m getting my Masters in Art & Design - there is no excuses for not having more art related posts. I have officially stopped ignoring my artistic side and plan to introduce you to artists and works (mostly within animation) that interest me.

Chris Landreth is an engineer turned animator that is most known for his short film, Ryan. Landreth won an Oscar for Ryan in 2005 for Best Short Film. A couple years ago, Landreth came and spoke during my animation studio. I was completely blown away by his works both aesthetically and conceptually.

Ryan is a touching story, infused with creativity, emotion and metaphors, that provide a number of avenues to be explored and interpreted. Click here to view Ryan on YouTube. Enjoy!

My Friend, the LIQUID Mulit Vitamin

I hate swallowing huge horse pills such as fish oil pills or vitamin pills. It does not go well for me. I either can't get them down my throat or feel uneasy if I do get them down. Unfortunately, this issue has led to a big bottle of multi-vitamins going to waste since they expired before I was able to take them all. What a waste of money.

Anyway, I have since found a solution. I picked up a liquid multi-vitamin called Alive! from Whole Foods a few weeks ago. I'll be honest, the taste is not all that great and makes my face scrunch but for me it's better than swallowing horse pills. Plus, one dose is not very big. In addition, you can mix the dosage in with a smoothies if you want. Overall I'm pleased with it and feel better that I have finally found a vitamin that I can take once a day.

One serving of Alive! contains: 25 vitamins & minerals, 24 fruits & vegetables, 18 amino acids, 14 green foods, 12 organic mushrooms, 12 digestive enzymes, plus bioflavonoids, EFAs, herbs, nucleic acids and trace minerals.


Beautiful Beausol Flowers

As mentioned earlier, my first share of crops from the Beausol Gardens' CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) came this week. We receive a share of the farm's crops as well as a bunch of flowers every week. Ronnie purchased the flower package for me back in April for an Easter present. It's nice to have fresh flowers around and I'm learning about flowers I have never seen before. Pictured above is a pink peonie, white clover and my favorite, a purple Foxglove.


Homemade Caesar Salad

This week was the first share of crops that I received from Beausol Gardens' CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. I got a variety of greens including Romaine, therefore I decided to make a homemade Caesar salad. I must say, I was a little nervous about making a Caesar dressing from scratch. The thought of having anchovies in a dressing never bothered me but dealing with em face to face was a little nerve racking. I did find some Caesar dressing recipes that excluded the anchovies, however if I was going to make Caesar then I was going to do it right.

After thumbing through a variety of recipes, I decided to combine two different recipes. One from Tyler Florence and the other from Robin Miller. They can both be found on theFoodNetwork.com. I liked the simplicity of Tyler's recipe however did not want to add two whole egg yolks to the dressing. Therefore, I excluded the egg yolks and added Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce as seen in Robin's recipe.

The dressing ended up being light and really flavorful. Ronnie and I really enjoyed it. I'm glad that I conquered the fear of cooking with anchovies because I have added this dressing to the collection of favorites. So here it is...

4 pieces of whole wheat bread
Extra virigin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400º. Chop bread into cubes. Place bread in a bowl and drizzle olive oil over the bread. Toss to cover. Spread bread over a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins or until golden brown.

Dressing Recipe:
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 garlic cloves (minced)
2 anchovies
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Romaine lettuce

Mash anchovies. Then, add garlic, lemon juice and zest in a bowl and whisk. While whisking, gradually pour in the EVOO. Continue to whisk until emulsified. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Gradually pour dressing over greens. I like to add a little at a time so I don't over drench the greens. Toss to coat. Add croutons and any additional cheese, salt or pepper (if needed).

Re-usable Sandwich & Snack Bag

Taking your lunch into work everyday saves money as well as helps you to stay healthy. Although the amount of garbage produced from take home lunch may be less than take out, there is still the plastic baggies that are left to throw away. It bothers me that I am throwing away baggies daily.

I contacted my cousin who has a sewing business, FrayBaby, and asked if she could fulfill a special request to make a re-usable sandwich bag. She created bags out of a fabric that is functional for carrying food and is waterproof and anti-microbial. To clean the bags, just flip them inside out and wipe clean or throw them in the washing machine. The bags are both machine washable and dryer safe.

The bags come in various colors and patterns and can hold a big sandwich or any other foods such as fruits or crackers. Its a perfect solution! She is also fulfilling a special request for some man-fabric sandwich bags so that Ronnie doesn't kill me when I send him to work with a pink flowery sandwich bag. These sandwich bags make bringing lunch to work even more cost efficient. You will no longer have to continually buy little plastic baggies and it's eco-friendly! Plus, they look good too.

Click here to order a sandwich bag or check out other FrayBaby products on Etsy.

YouBar Review

I learned about YouBars from a fellow blogger and friend, OneGillianReasons. I try to avoid packaged foods however was very impressed with YouBar's ingredients. It has no artificial flavorings, no high fructose corn syrup and they even offer stevia and spirilina for their customized bars. YouBar sent me three bars to try out myself...

Great Date with Chocolate: This bar was my favorite. The bar tasted really good and was satisfying. It made me realize how much I like dates! I ate if for breakfast one morning and never felt hungry again until lunch. The bar is a sticky but good none-the-less.

Ingredients: Organic dates, Why Protein Isolate, Organic Honey, Cocoa.

Nutritional Facts: 140 calories, 0.5g of saturated fat, 4g of fiber, 24f of sugar, 8g of protein

Honey Cashew: I was not as excited about this bar. It had a powdery texture that crumbled in my mouth. Although, it did have a nice crunch. The taste reminded me of the typical breakfast/health bar however I'm much more pleased with the ingredients in this bar than most.

Ingredients: Cashew Butter, Honey, Whey Protein, Nutty Rice Cereal, Organic Honey.

Nutritional Facts: 220 calories, 2.5g of saturated fat, 1g of fiber, 7g of sugar, 10g of protein

Breakfast Bars:This bar was comparable to the Great Date with Chocolate. I like this bar because it is great when I’m running late to work and need breakfast on the go. It’s never good to skip breakfast so this is a perfect solution. The best part about this bar is that it didn’t leave my stomach growling at 10am.

Ingredients: Deglet noor dates, Egg white powder, Honey, Cocoa Powder, Instant Coffee Crystals (caffeinated), Cinnamon.

Nutritional facts: 150 calories, 0.5g of saturated fat, 4g fiber, 24g sugar, 8g of protein

One of the coolest parts about this company is that you can design your own bar. Click here and go to “Build-a-Bar” to get started making your own. This customization also allow you to view the nutritional facts of you customized bar so you can monitor the nutrient content.

I recommend everyone to at least try these bars. The bars are a bit expensive but you are paying for quality ingredients. To get a 5% discount on a YouBar purchase just type in “TheHungryRoot” as your coupon code in the shopping cart.

Back to Blog

So over the past several weeks have I have been occupied with school work, work work, vacation and even a couple days of fighting the flu. Consequently my blog has suffered. Well I'm back! I just got my first share of crops from the CSA this week; I will be starting my nutrition class in a couple weeks and Ronnie and I are looking to make an offer on a house soon. I have lots going on and lots to blog about so stay tuned...


Healthy Convenience

Typically, my fiancé, Ronnie, and I cook dinner every night except for Friday when we go out to our favorite sushi restaurant, Shiki Sushi. However, there are those times when you don’t have the time to cook and it’s easier to grab/pick something up. The problem with getting something on the go is that convenience, inexpensive and health sometimes don’t go hand in hand however it is possible. Here are a couple of my favorite picks in the Raleigh area…

The Flying Biscuit just recently opened up in Cameron Village. They serve breakfast at all times and offer vegan and vegetarian options. Ronnie likes it because his favorite meal is breakfast and they offer healthier alternatives such as turkey bacon as opposed to bacon. I’m a lunch/dinner type of girl and was very pleased with their veggie burger. It was a little too thin (I still like a thick burger even if its not meat) however the spices tasted great. They also offer black bean cakes with salsa that I’m excited to try out next time.

Neomande is a Lebanese and Mediterranean café and market. They have the best hummus that I have ever had. In addition, their pita bread has no preservatives or sugar. It only contains four ingredients – flour, yeast, salt and water. Other delicious items are their black bean and garbanzo bean salad as well as their cous cous. Ronnie loves their chicken kabobs. You can eat in, take out or even buy containers of hummus, dips or salads to stick in the fridge as easy and quick bites for the week.


Current Reading

I have picked up a new book, Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle. I'm only a few pages in however I'm already fascinated. The book explores the food industry's push for us to "eat more food, more often and in large portions" - with no regard to our weight or health.

I will create a new post about the book once I'm done reading it however I can tell you already that it is a easy read with interesting and important information.

Click here for more information.


Tea Guys

I absolutely love tea and always have. I remember my mom used to make me orange spiced tea when I was younger and I would mix in some milk and sugar. Today, I usually drink my tea plain with a couple drops of Stevia.

This past Christmas, I got a glass tea pot with infuser as a gift. This tea pot allows me to use loose tea as opposed to tea bags. I was really excited to use it but I needed some loose tea. So, I went online and found the company, Tea Guys. They specialize in organic loose tea and have a wide variety of teas - green, black, herbal and fruit.

Last winter, I purchased the Wild Blueberry, Organic Gunpowder Mint, Ceylon Select OP and the Chamomile Honey Citrus. The website gives a description of each tea which is nice. For example, I know that the Chamomile is good for night time because its calming. My favorite one that I ordered was the Organic Gunpowder Mint. I just ordered some more tea because I wanted to restock on the Gunpowder and I'm really excited to try out the new flavors. This time around I ordered Coconut Truffle, Key Lime Pie, Ginger Darjeeling Peach, Green Walnut, Carrot Cake and of course the Gunpowder.

These teas are not only a delicious treat that can be served hot or cold but they are also good for you! According to the website, Your Total Health:

Tea contains antioxidants
. Tea's antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

Tea has less caffenie than coffee. Coffee usually has 2-3 times the caffenie of tea.

Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your artieries smooth and clog-free.

Tea protects your bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones...The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea's many beneficial phytochemicals.

Tea gives you a sweet smile. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay.

Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body's immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects.

Tea help keep you hydrated.

Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn't have any calories, unless you add Sweetener or milk. If you're looking for a satisfying, calorie free beverage, tea is a top choice.

Tea increases your metabolism. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70-80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day.

You don't have to buy a tea infuser and loose tea to be able to enjoy a cup. One brand of bagged tea that is available in grocery stores that I really enjoy is Yogi Tea. They have a wide selection and also provide descriptions for their different teas.

Check out Tea Guys

Check out Yogi Tea

Read full article at Your Total Health



I first learned about Spirulina from Sara Snow on her show, Get Fresh. I purchased the powdered form of the algae at the grocery store after learning about the health benefits. I mix it with a glass of water or incorporate it into my smoothies and granola. Although it looks green and scary, you can't taste it at all when its mixed in smoothies or granola. When I drink it with water, I wouldn’t say it tastes good but it doesn’t taste bad (fish oil pills are WAY worse) and the health benefits are worth it. I resorted to an online article in The Guardian to help explain the benefits.

Spirulina are blue-green filamentous algae. It has been shown to be a complete protein, high in essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, photosynthetic pigments including chlorophyll and beta-carotene. It enhances the body's cellular communication process and also has the ability to read and repair DNA, like a kind of cellular tune up. Spirulina is high in protein and has high concentration of beta carotene, vitamin B-12 and iron. Spirulina is rich in natural carotenoid antioxidants that pomotes cellular health and has cleansing chlorophyll which helps detoxify bodies that are always prone to present pollution.

You can read the full article here


Mama's Got a Brand New Blog

Okay, well my name's not mama but I seem to have a compulsion to make blog titles as witty as possible. Whether I’m successful at that or not, you be the judge.

So, who am I? Well I'm me and, after its new makeover, so is my blog. Let me elaborate. Many people in my life including my mom, my sister, my friends, my soon-to-be mother-in-law and co-workers have a phrase they use when describing my accessories, clothes or other possessions. They say, “that is very you”. Someone must have sent a memo out because everyone has come up with the same phrase. I’m assuming it means different or artsy but I’m not entirely sure. However, I take it as a compliment that no other adjective can describe my stuff better than just “me”.

So, the blog got a makeover. I was tired of the standard template and would cringe every time I saw another blog with the same template, which was often considering there are tons of bloggers and few templates. So, I spent a few hours
in Photoshop last night to create the banner. I’m very pleased with it and hope all my fellow floggers (friend bloggers) are jealous. =P So, here’s to the new and improved blog design. I hope you think it’s very ME!


Leafy Greens are in Season

Leafy greens are in season. I got some fresh spinach from the farmers market and decided to make a spinach salad. It was so good! I plan on making it a staple for the spring and summer months.

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4-5 drops of Stevia**
5 ounce spinach
Fresh Strawberries (sliced)
Sliced almonds

For vinaigrette, stir together mustard, garlic, stevia, lemon juice and vinegar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until mixture is smooth and glossy. To assemble salad, place spinach, almonds and strawberries in a large bowl. Toss lightly with dressing and serve immediately.

**Stevia is the extract of a naturally sweet herb. It is a great alternative to sugar. Refined sugar is virtually devoid of nutritional benefits and, at best, represents empty calories in the diet. At worst, it has been implicated in numerous degenerative diseases. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar and has none of sugar's unhealthy drawbacks. Find out more about Stevia at: http://www.stevia.com/SteviaArticle.asp?Id=2269


Cutting an Avocado

Since I shared the ALT recipe in the last blog, I decided to post this video that demonstrates the simple technique for cutting and de-seeding an avocado. Click here

Quick and Healthy

The A.L.T (avocado, lettuce and tomato) is one of my all time favorite sandwiches and it is easy to make! Jazz it up or eat it simple – either way it is delicious!

Whole wheat bread

Toast, slice, put it together and enjoy! To jazz it up a bit, try adding whole grain mustard and sprouts.


Hey, It's Me - Just Looking on the Bright Side

So I decided to stray from my original intent of the The Hungy Root but I think that this story is worthy of a blog...

Sunday afternoon my apartment flooded due to a busted kitchen sink valve. Water soaked my kitchen floors as well as bled onto other carpeted areas. Water restoration guys came immediately to alleviate the damage which entailed pulling up my carpet, ripping out the padding and then placing 9 big fans and two even bigger dehumidifiers throughout my 800 square foot apartment. It has been an interesting experience however I’m looking on the “bright side”. Here is a list of my “bright sides”:

1. The motor of the dehumidifier backs up into the toilet and warms the porcelain toilet seat for a more comforting bathroom experience.

2. At certain spots in the condo, you feel like a supermodel on a fabulous photo shoot because your hair is blown by a fan to create drama. Really gives me a chance to work on my "VOGUE" and fierce eyes.

3. I no longer can hear my neighbor's weird music.

4. It has been age-defying....having access to just a bedroom and bathroom brings me back to my college dormitory days.

5. My fiancé and I have had a lesson in communication. We no longer can yell information or favor asking from room to room. Communication has resorted to face to face interaction due to the loud fans. That or you just get your butt up and do it yourself.

6. My fiancé acknowledged that we can now fulfill one of the many duties of Spring cleaning - reaching all the back surfaces of the furniture for dusting since all it has been rearranged in the apt.

7. Once the fans get out of here, I will have a new appreciation for peace and quiet even if it is peace and quiet plus any surrounding neighbor noise.

8. Upon exiting the shower you can send yourself through "auto-dry" just like a car wash.

9. Its really helped with my agility - maneuvering through the condo is sort of like an obstacle course therefore it pretty much takes care of my work out for the day.

and lastly,

10. The experience has really helped me cut calories, the big fan that you have to move to get into the fridge makes you think twice about a little snack.


A Must Try for Salmon Lovers

Last night I cooked Southwestern Salmon & Black Beans, a recipe that I pulled from World’s Healthiest Foods website (http://www.whfoods.com/). It was delicious and easy to make! The picture on their website doesn't do the dish justice. The colors were absolutely vibrant. This morning I used the left over black bean, onion and red pepper concoction to make an omelet and added some fresh salsa on top. Needless to say, it was delicious. Anyway, here is the recipe for Southwestern Salmon & Black Beans:

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes Ingredients:

- 1½ lb salmon cut into 4 pieces
- 1 small sized onion minced
- 1 small sized red bell pepper diced 1/4 inch

- 4 medium cloves garlic pressed
- ½ cup + 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth
- 15oz can black beans, drained
- 1½ TBS red chili powder
- About 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 medium avocado cut into cubes

- 2 TBS fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 TBS fresh mint chopped
- 1 TBS fresh basil chopped
- 3 TBS fresh lemon juice

- 3 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS chopped pumpkin seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Season salmon with a little salt and pepper. Set aside while you chop and sauté vegetables. Mince onions and press garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance their hidden health benefits. Heat 1 TBS broth in a 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet. When broth begins to steam add onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute on medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add ½ cup broth, drained beans, and red chili powder. Cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While beans are cooking preheat broiler on high. Place a stainless steel or cast iron skillet large enough for salmon under the heat to get hot. This takes about 10 minutes. In a bowl mix together cilantro, mint, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper. Place salmon in the hot pan and return to broiler about 5 inches from the heat source for best results. Broil salmon for about 3-4 minutes for medium doneness. Serve salmon, beans, lettuce and avocado together on a plate. Top salmon and lettuce with cilantro topping.

Find this recipe and its nutrients here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=83


Farm Fresh

I am so excited for Spring and I’m starting it off right. I have just joined a CSA, “Community Supported Agriculture” and have officially become a “locavore” as Harry Leblanc at Beausol Gardens would say. For $300, I will receive a share of his crops every week from the beginning of May to the end of September (give or take depending on the season and weather conditions). The list of his local crops includes some of my favorites and kitchen staples including basil, garlic, cantaloupe, strawberries, onions and broccoli. The CSA even encourages you to be adventurous and introduces new foods to your kitchen (or at least mine) such as pac choi, daikon radishes, turnips and parsnips.

Beausol Gardens also grows a number of flowers and for $160 you can receive weekly fresh flowers. My fiancé got me the fresh flowers share as an early Easter present. Isn’t that sweet or maybe just a good way to stay out of “trouble”? Either way, I am ecstatic and think that fresh flowers will help brighten my home and the sprits of all around.

Leblanc sends out weekly e-mail updates about his farm and the crops. I just got my first e-mail today and was shocked to see the level of detail that was included. I was excited and enthusiastic to learn about the baby veggies, soil, natural pest deterrents and their honey bees. In addition, Leblanc invites people to come out and visit the farm without feeling like a disturbance.

I absolutely love shopping my local farmers market and I’m excited to add CSA as another way that I help to support local farmers. It’s a breath of fresh air to have a clear understanding of where my food is coming from. Shopping locally establishes a sense of community and pride. I encourage everyone to help support their local farmers. Look up your CSA at
http://www.localharvest.org/ or make a trip to your local farmers market. As Leblanc says, the local food movement “seeks to restore direct contact between farmers and consumers, putting a human face on agriculture and trust in the food supply.”