Sleepy Morning Blender Matcha

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 26, 2018

At long last I’m able to give you a bit of an update on my recent health struggles! If you’re catching up, read this post and this post (and the comments) first.

Well, where did we leave off? To start, I’m so thankful to have found a great naturopath after not having an overly helpful experience earlier in the year. I’ve been struggling with my symptoms on and off for years now, so it’s been a huge relief to finally get some answers! Slowly but surely I’m starting to feel like a new person. My recent tests showed that my hormones are a hot mess…estrogen is too high, my morning cortisol is way too low (hello, feeling like a zombie even after a decent night’s sleep), and one of my thyroid hormones is also too low. My doctor had suspected many of these results based on my symptoms, but it was interesting to see them on paper! I’m definitely no expert on this stuff, but I learned that when one hormone is off, it can impact another…and on and on the cycle goes, often throwing your entire system out of whack in the process. I felt such relief knowing that how I was feeling wasn’t just in my head all this time.

It’s so easy to push through feeling awful, blaming your symptoms on other things. I can’t even tell you how many times I told myself that I felt like crap because I was a new mom, or I was nursing and up in the middle of the night, or I was working out too hard (or not enough), or I wasn’t taking my vitamins, or my diet wasn’t balanced, or I was just feeling anxious about changes in my life. Some of those things may have been part of the issue, but I overlooked the real possibility that something beyond my immediate control was at work.

Dear self: it’s okay to ask for help.

Speaking of which, my biggest regret is that I didn’t get help for my symptoms sooner. It’s easy to put off, especially when Dr. Google is at your fingertips. Everyone would tell me how important it is to take care of myself while raising two young kids, but most days I just pushed it aside and tried to rely on the fact that I am a generally healthy person who eats well and exercises. My mom and Nicole were the ones who finally pushed me to get help…we all need those people in our lives who look out for us! Sometimes you have to learn the hard way, but I’m grateful for this lesson and wake-up call. I may have ignored my body’s messages for quite some time, but once I commit to something, I’m all-in, and I’ve been such a good “student” these past few months!

Taking the time to heal has set me back on some career goals this year, but sometimes there’s no better goal than good health. I actually can’t think of a better way to celebrate OSG’s upcoming 10-year milestone than circling back to my journey to health, which is the reason I started my blog! It’s just another reminder that our journey is always changing and evolving over time.

I’ll try to update you again as soon as I have more to share, but in the meantime if you have any questions, or would like to share your own experiences, I would LOVE to read them below.

Oh, and I should probably mention this recipe before I go! My naturopath recently encouraged me to add more green tea to my diet, and this has been my go-to mix. I had requests for the recipe after sharing it on Insta Stories last week, so I decided to put it up on both the app and blog! I hope you’ll find this warm, creamy matcha blend as calming and gently energizing as I have.

5 from 4 reviews
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Sleepy Morning Blender Matcha

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

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You know when you wake up on a chilly morning and need a hot drink now? Well this is my go-to on fall and winter mornings (or afternoons!) when I want a change from coffee. The thought of this smooth, warm, creamy drink seriously lures me out of my cozy bed. I love how effortless this recipe is, especially on those half-awake, barely functioning mornings (just make sure you’re alert enough to operate a blender with hot liquid!). I love matcha green tea powder because it delivers calming, jitter-free energy as well as powerful antioxidants. Be sure to see my Deluxe Version in the Tips section below for a more decadent way to make this beverage—when I want an especially comforting treat, I’ll forgo the water and only use canned coconut milk.

Yield
1 1/3 cups (330 mL)
Prep time
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) canned light coconut milk, room temperature*
  • 1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder, or to taste**
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add the water to a kettle or pot and bring to a boil.
  2. While the water heats up, add the coconut milk and matcha powder to a high-speed blender.
  3. Once the water has boiled, remove it from the heat and let sit for 15 seconds. Carefully add it to the blender along with the maple syrup (if using).
  4. If your blender’s lid is vented, secure it on top. If you don’t have a vented lid, keep the lid slightly ajar so air can escape. Blend on the lowest speed, very slowly increasing to medium, for about 20 seconds until frothy and combined.
  5. Immediately pour into a mug and enjoy your cozy cup o’ green!

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 1/3 cups (330 mL) | Calories 50 calories | Total Fat 4 grams
Saturated Fat 3 grams | Sodium 30 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 4 grams
Fiber 0 grams | Sugar 2 grams | Protein 1 grams

Nutritional info does not include sweetener.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

* If using already chilled canned coconut milk, add an extra 1/3 cup (80 mL) hot water to ensure your blend is hot enough (nobody wants lukewarm tea, if you know what I mean!). Be sure to stir the coconut milk before measuring.

 

** My preferred brand of matcha powder is DoMatcha Organic Summer Harvest Matcha Powder.

 

Deluxe Version: Heat 1 cup (250 mL) canned light coconut milk on the stovetop over medium heat, watching closely to ensure it doesn’t boil over. Once it starts to simmer and froth, immediately remove it from the heat. Add this to the blender along with the matcha powder (and maple syrup, if using). Follow steps 4 and 5 above and enjoy your extra-creamy tea!

Instant Pot Cauliflower and Butternut Thai Curry

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 18, 2018

My very first vegan Instant Pot recipe is here! I finally took the plunge and purchased an Instant Pot after being on the fence about whether I wanted a new appliance to take up real estate on my counter (it would have to fight for space next to the kids’ piles of artwork, after all). Thanks again for the Ask Angela weigh-in back in February. I’m usually suspicious of new trends and like to wait a good while before I take the plunge, but I’m loooving it so far. I had totally underestimated how nice it is to put the lid on a recipe and walk away! But this same convenient feature also makes it challenging to develop recipes because you have ONE SHOT to get the cook time/pressure correct. No big deal. This curry took over 10 trials to get perfect…I changed up the flavours, cook time (6 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 4 minutes…ahh!), liquids-to-solids ratios…you name it, I tweaked it! Nicole and I love a challenge, though, so it’s been fun figuring it out and I do think we’ll get quicker as we go.

I had a stovetop pressure cooker back in the day and that thing used to scare the bejesus out of me with all of its rattling and clanking around. So the first two times I cooked with my new Instant Pot, I handed Eric a wooden spoon and instructed him to release the steam while I hid. I’m not proud, but hey, at least I’m now doing it myself! It’s really not that bad at all, and it feels so much safer than my old stovetop pressure cooker ever did.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot, though! I got yo’ back. We’ve tested this curry on the stovetop as well because I want everyone to be able to make these easy recipes at home! I haven’t had a chance to test this curry in a slow cooker yet, but if any of you do, could you please leave a comment and let us know how it goes? The beauty of this curry is that you literally throw everything (except the greens) into a pot, stir it, and cook. It couldn’t be easier! Of course, I wouldn’t call this an authentic Thai curry by any means, but it’s delicious and comes together quickly on those busy weeknights.

Anyway, if you have any questions about this recipe or the Instant Pot in general, please fire away below! If I can’t answer your question, maybe someone else can help by chiming in with their experience.

 

4.9 from 23 reviews
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Instant Pot Cauliflower Thai Curry

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

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I love the soft, stew-like texture of this spicy curry and how serving it over a cup of fluffy rice lends just the right amount of chewiness! This dish is one of those crave-worthy comfort foods that I reach for again and again. I created this recipe out of a need for more go-to pantry dinner options that take advantage of my speedy new Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Not to worry if you don’t have one, though—follow my directions in the tip below to make this curry on the stovetop instead. It’s important to follow the Instant Pot directions carefully to avoid overcooking the veggies. This recipe is adapted from my 8-Minute Pantry Dal.

Yield
5 1/2 cups (1.3 L) or 4 servings
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

For the curry:
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices*
  • 2 cups (260 g) chopped cauliflower florets (1-inch pieces)
  • 2 cups (340 g) peeled and cubed (3/4-inch) butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) uncooked red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) red curry paste**
  • 1 teaspoon (7.5 mL) dried flaked onion***
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups (75 g) packed stemmed and finely chopped kale or chard
Serving suggestions:
  • Cooked jasmine rice or grain of choice
  • Fresh chopped cilantro leaves
  • Fresh lime juice

Directions:

  1. First, add the oil and coconut milk to an Instant Pot. Now, add the rest of the curry ingredients (except the kale/chard) and stir until combined. I like to press down on the veggies and lentils to ensure they are completely covered in liquid.
  2. Secure lid in the lock position and check that the Steam Release Handle is pointing to the “Sealing” position.
  3. Press the “Pressure Cook” button (or “Manual”, on some machines) and set the cook time to 5 minutes on high pressure. After 5 seconds you’ll hear a couple beeps and the screen will say “on”. The cooking process has begun! You can now go do something fun for about 10 to 15 minutes while the curry cooks.
  4. You’ll hear a few beeps when the timer is up. Immediately do a “Quick Pressure Release” to avoid overcooking the curry. I stand back and use a wooden spoon handle (never my hand!) to shift the Steam Release Handle to the “Venting” position to release the pressure. Once all of the pressure has been released, the float valve will sink and you won’t hear steam anymore.
  5. Carefully open the lid and stir the curry. To achieve a thicker texture, I like to mash a bit of the curry with a potato masher, simply pulsing about 4 or 5 times around the pot. You can also blitz it for a second or two with an immersion blender.
  6. Stir in the chopped greens until thoroughly combined and secure the lid. Set the Instant Pot to the “Keep Warm” setting and allow the greens to wilt for about 5 minutes in the curry. Press “Cancel” to turn the heat off and release the steam again, if necessary, before removing the lid.
  7. Serve over rice or grain of choice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and lime. The lime juice gives it a lovely brightness, but avoid using too much as it can overpower. I always add a sprinkle of salt and pepper before serving too.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 4 small bowls | Calories 290 calories | Total Fat 10 grams
Saturated Fat 4.5 grams | Sodium 620 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 43 grams
Fiber 13 grams | Sugar 10 grams | Protein 11 grams

Nutritional info does not include rice or toppings and uses Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste in the calculation.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

* The canned diced tomatoes that I use are quite "soupy" and liquid-y. If your can seems to be on the low end of the liquid content, I would recommend adding a 1/2 cup of water to this recipe before cooking.

** I love this Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste—it’s shelf stable and comes in a small glass jar. You can often find it in the international cuisine aisle of grocery chains.

 

*** Dried flaked onion is less concentrated than onion powder. Onion powder will work as a substitute if that's what you have on hand, but I would suggest using a smaller amount (around 1/2 teaspoon) as it’s more flavourful.

 

STOVETOP OPTION: Not to worry if you don't have an Instant Pot as this recipe works great on the stovetop too. Simply add all of the ingredients except the kale (or chard, if using) to a large pot, stir, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes (adding the kale/chard during the last 10 minutes), until the veggies and lentils are tender. Stir the curry every 5 minutes while cooking, and reduce the heat if necessary to prevent it sticking to the pot. Follow directions #5 and #7.

 

Note: Cauliflower amount has been changed from 2 1/2 cups to 2 cups as of Sept. 25/18.

 

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