Friday, November 29, 2013

Spinach Spaghetti with Sardines

Have you experienced those days when you just don't know what you want to eat? Okay... keep reading... you are hungry but not really... your are not cooking for others, its just you, so you think about skipping dinner all together but you know that's not a good idea.  YES, WE ALL HAVE!!
My suggestion is to make-it-fun!!!  open all your cabinets and see if anything appeals to you right away, if it does, stick with your gut feeling (always do!)
So this is what came up to me :)
Sardines and Spinach Spaghetti!!!!
The next step is to create something fun and yummy off course.  Add your favorite spices, veggies, greens that you can find in your fridge.
I boiled the pasta as instructed in the package.  Next using my favorite pan (cast iron) I sprayed coconut oil. 
Now I added my favorite picks; artichoke, Brussels sprouts and sardines!
This is the result of my 10 minute put together dinner for one!
I am impressed and so excited, I was able to turn around my "maybe-dinner-maybe-skip-it" dilemma into a wonderful delicious and nutritious dinner!
The big reason why I wanted to blog my "dinner dilemma" is because of a couple reasons: 1. We all go thru this one day or another and is NOT A GOOD IDEA TO SKIP MEALS, your metabolism works best if there are no ups and downs (by that I mean one day you eat enough to feed a small army the next day you decide to starve... no no bad idea!).  Keep your meals consistent my friend.  2. Dinner doesn't have to be a half day preparation thing... I mean, it can be and when it is - IS FUN :) but it doesn't have to. You should be able to come up with a simple and nutritional meal in 10 -15 minutes.  3. Make it fun! enjoy what you do when you do.  We seem to have forgotten how to enjoy the simple things, the wonderful smells, tastes and colors.  We go about doing our daily things but our mind is either in the past or the future.  Live now! that's all we have... NOW!  So yes, have fun next time you are having a "dinner-dilemma" :)
Love ~ Hugs ~ Peace
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~ Ribas with Love

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holiday Beans in Jar Decoration
There is never a better time to be crafty than when the weather is cold outside and the holidays are just around the corner. Decorating your home can be very pricy sometimes that's why whenever I can I try to come up with my own ideas.  The internet is a great place to find ideas if you are not a crafty person.
I wanted to create something that has my signature, in another words, something that reflects who I am.  So I decided to use beans and mason jars (love the looks of beans in mason jars) and add a little touch of the Holidays. 
There are so many different kind of beans out there ~ it was fun browsing around my food store to find these three.  I suggest you go to a natural/ healthy store to find a better variety of beans.  You will be amazed how many kinds of beans is out there!
So lets get started.  You can play around with your options but here is what I used:
3 Mason Jars
Red Beans
Green Beans
White Beans
Craft Paper (3 different designs)
Yarn/ Twine
Making it was fun and simple.  Put each color beans in each of the three jar.  Cut out letters to spell the word JOY.  Punch a small hole near the top of each letter.  Put the yarn or twine, which ever one you choose to use, thru the hole and tie it around the top lid of the jar. 
I have my jars on top of my cabinets.  In some houses there is an empty space between the cabinets and the ceiling, that's where mine are right now :)  They look so good up there.  Its probably a safe spot for it too because I am thinking those beans gotta taste soooo good right?  I didn't include in the picture (well not the whole thing) next to my beans jars is my Seeds catalogue, I thought those two should stay together.
Hope you enjoyed crafting with me.  Please leave a comment below, I love to hear from all of you.
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~ Ribas with Love

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday Green Beans
What is a holiday table without a green bean dish?  My green bean recipe has a touch of color, taste and holiday magic!  The best part is you can play with it.  Here is how:  See that list of ingredients down there ? You can change the nuts and you can pick the dressing!
This is what I used:
* green beans
* dried cranberries
* sliced almonds
* Italian dressing
Once again I used my cast iron pan. Combined all ingredients.  Cooked for about 8 minutes. DONE!
Now, I recommend that you don't overcook your green beans (or any vegetable). When you overcook them they loose some vitamins and minerals, the taste changes and so does the texture!
Happy Eating ~ Happy Holidays
Ribas with Love

Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Release Stress


This is a subject that never seem to loose its place on top researches, people talk about it all over the world, we don't seem to have had enough. Besides the point of understanding stress we mostly need to learn how to deal with stress specially since it can't be avoided at one point or another, and for some people it is a constant issue. 
 The word stress represents a state of mental or emotional strain or tension.  Since we can't avoid stress in our lives it is time to grasp the concept and learn how to deal with it (and release) stress for once and for all!
Our mind is a very powerful tool! be aware of this and don't think of it in any way less than what is.  Our mind holds the key to all healing.  Once you can understand this concept and start understanding the way it works, you are better able to help yourself. 
So how do we take that and put into practice?  SIMPLE! First is step is to keep this in mind:
~ You have within you all you need to heal yourself to be the best and the happiest that you have ever been ~
Here are a few tools to help release stress:
Eating and exercising I could not start without this very important step.  The first step to a healthy mind is a healthy body (balance).  Eating the right foods and daily exercises will keep your "shell" nice and healthy so that you can enjoy life.  My grandmother always said: "our health is everything" so true!  
Relationships... stay connected to the people around you.  All relationships are important. Researches show that when you talk to your friends and loved ones it releases stress. Whenever possible make some physical contact, sometimes a touch or a hug can be miraculous! 
Nature is empowering! If you follow my facebook page you are familiar with my "hug a tree" posts :) For me a walk barefoot, hugging a tree, the smells (scents) and sounds of nature has an incredible power to release stress. There is a "grounding" feeling that center us in to the universe which help us understand that there are things much bigger and powerful than our worries. I also find gardening very therapeutic (I placed it under the same subject but is a slight different option).  I grew my first garden this summer and cannot say enough how rewarding this experience was.  If you are thinking I wouldn't know where to start, I have a post on ~ How to Grow your Own Greens.  Everyone who practices this has said no different.
Pets! walking and cuddling with your pet can be very calming. The warmth of such friendship can bring joy and therefore be a form of releasing stress.  Next time stress knocks on your door take the dog for a walk, talk to your pet!
Cooking... yes cooking! we all need to eat so why not make it fun and relaxing!  for me the earthy smell when you cut up greens (cilantro..hmm) the pleasure of preparing a meal, feeding your family and yourself, the satisfying feeling after a home prepared healthy meal can certainly take away some the stress I might be going thru.  The point is to do something you enjoy and that can take your mind off of the worrisome thoughts. Ex: (fishing, playing ball, cleaning, fixing, etc...)
Generosity There is something very comforting about being generous.  The fact that you can take your attention away from yourself and whatever you are going thru and put it into something (or someone) else is great!  Generosity is a great exercise for the heart.  We always have something to give, whether in monetary form, time, food, attention, love or many other ways.
Yoga and Meditation last but not least, these two have been used in one way or another for centuries.  Different cultures have used meditation to heal and to find peace.  Yoga is also very empowering, to practice it on a daily basis can bring self awareness, ability to concentrate on the breath and to get centered.  We are much more prone to find the right solution when we can calm our rapid thoughts, break it down into parts and pieces and than create a structured solution (a plan) to deal with the stress you are going thru.
This is my personal list on how to deal with stress.  The key is to find the right tools to CONTROL the stress that comes in.  It's all about the way you respond to things.  Notice how some people never seem have a fall? others never seem to be able to get up? is it luck? NOT LIKELY! In fact luck seem to play a very small roll into our lives.  The difference is in our response. 
I hope this post gave you some good and helpful ideas.  I think these should be practiced on a daily basis to AVOID stress or prevent it from coming to us fast and strong much like a cold.  
 Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions on the area below. Also visit me on facebook at:
~Ribas with Love
"The same wind blows on us all, the difference in where you arrive in one year, three years, five years, the difference in arrival is not the blowing of the wind but the set of the sail" -Jim Rohn


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Penne with Arugula and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Okay... promise is promise right? So here is the mouthwatering dish I posted this past weekend.  I served it with Sautéed Kale and Green Apples and Salmon.  Delish!!!
What is great about this dish is so easy to make and very tasty.  It can be served warm or cold. The holidays are coming and this is a great dish to bring to party. I know I will!  
These are the ingredients you need:
5 cups arugula
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes
1 package whole wheat pasta
In a blender or food processor add 2 cups of the arugula along with the other ingredients, except the pasta. Blend the mixture until all the ingredients are well combined.
Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and rinse.  Toss pasta with pesto and fold in remaining 3 cups of arugula.
You can add more sun-dried tomato if desired. This recipe will also work well if you add your favorite nut, like walnut, cashew or almonds.  Either way this one will be a hit whether you are cooking for the family or bringing this beautiful dish to the party.
Enjoy the meal!
I will look forward to your comments, suggestions and re-shares.  Please also visit me on facebook:
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~ Ribas with Love

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sautéed Kale and Green Apples

Do you also love kale but agrees that it's a bit to rough to eat it raw? Okay... luckily there are options out there my friend.  Kale is so super good your you that is worth finding the right recipe for your taste buds.  So I created this lovely recipe for us my dear which is a great side dish to serve all year round. 
For this you will need:  
1 lb of Kale
2 granny smith apples
1 cup of apple cider
flax seeds
salt & pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients in a sauce pan (or cast iron pan... if you have one, I use mine all the time). Sautéed for about roughly 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and serve it hot.
And now you have a delicious side dish to any meal and any occasion. 
Super nutritious kale is an excellent source of antioxidant and vitamins A, C and K.  Eating a diet rich in antioxidant and vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing cancers, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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~ Ribas with Love

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cranberry Nut Bread
The holidays are almost here.  Lots of exciting times, laughs and family gather that will stay in our memories forever.  Since forever ago food has been a huge part of those gathering, in fact food sometimes is what bring people together. 
I choose to share the Cranberry Nut Bread because BREAD is such a spiritual food and a must on the dinner table.  Also this recipe was put together keeping in mind that just because the holidays are here you don't have to fall off of the health wagon (blink!).   So, with that said my dear lets get started!
This is what you will need:
2 cups of unbleached whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of organic coconut sugar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 orange
1 egg
dried cranberries
shelled walnuts
Easy Step 1:

Mix together the whole wheat flour,  baking powder, baking soda and sugar.   Combine the olive oil, the juice from one orange and enough water to a combined 3/4 cup. 
Easy Step 2:
Stir the 3/4 cup mixture into dry ingredients. Add a beaten egg. This is the texture you will get after stirring for a couple minutes.
Easy Step 3:
Mix in 1 cup the dried cranberries and walnuts.  Pour into a greased loaf pan. 
Easy Step 4:
Bake at 350o F for one hours.  Cool for 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from pan and serve warm!
Tip: If you are completely new to cooking/ baking or just not sure if you like the recipe, I suggest that you make it before hand to make sure this is something you and your guests will enjoy and if you need to make any changes to the recipe.
  My health choice: I choose organic coconut sugar because it is an ideal substitute for cane sugar and is derived from the flowers of organically grown coconut trees.  The nectar of the coconut flower is collected, boiled and ground into powder to create this delicious sweetener.
As always, hope you enjoy this recipe. I appreciate your feedback and comments.
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Ribas with Love

Friday, November 8, 2013

Beef and Bean Chili
Soup season is here!  Is anyone else as excited as I am?  Thought so... that's why I decided to share this one with you.  Chili is one of my favorites!! REASON: I love BEANS!!  This Brazilian born girl can't live without her beans...
Will you need:
Olive Oil
Onions (white or red and as much or as little as you like)
Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
Chili Powder
Ground Cumin
1 lb Ground Beef
15 oz Can Tomato Sauce (diced)
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Kidney Beans (cooked)
1 Cup Black Beans (cooked)
Sea Salt
what's next...
In a large soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are translucent.

Stir in chili powder and cumin and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add ground beef and stir to brown the meat, 3 to 5 minutes.
This is how it looks...
Add tomato sauce, water and beans. Season with salt to taste, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Stir in cilantro and hot pepper sauce, if desired.

This is a very tasty flavorful and filling dish great for the cold weather.
I avoided the spices to make it kid friendly but I think the spices make chili extra special and warm.
Did I say why I love beans so much? Right...growing up in Brazil beans is a part of everyday life.  Brazil and India grows more beans than any country in the world.  Recent research linking bean intake to lower risk of type 2 diabetes, many types of cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer was one of the key factors used by the Brazilian government to establish their bean intake recommendations. 
For all the reasons stated above I say: LETS CHILL WITH SOME CHILI ~ be warm, full and healthy!!
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~ Ribas with Love

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Eating Healthy Meals on the GO

Heading to work without your meals to go?
I never leave my house without my bag. What is in it? well, that's the fun part. Each day I bring a variety of foods that were home prepared. Also including fruits, nuts and healthy snacks. I tend to buy the seasonal fruits and veggies a lot which gives me an opportunity to eat a huge variety throughout the year!

The benefits hmm... where do I start?...

 1. The health benefits: No food that you buy out there is better than your home made meals, keeping in mind a light colorful rich diet of organic foods. Most places you buy food from will add a lot of unnecessary and unhealthy items to your foods, like lots of salt, sugar and preservatives 


 2. The financial benefits: It's cheaper... that simple!! Buy what's in season. Freeze berries if you hit a big sale (for smoothies, etc...) Fruits and vegetables are generally inexpensive. So buy lots of those.

 3. The "staying out of temptation" benefit: Yes that's right... It is soooo much easier to stay healthy and fit if you don't get out there with a hungry tummy (in another words vulnerable), your tendency at that point will be to grab the first easy quick choice >> FAST FOOD :( just stay in your cocoon with your healthy choice!

 4. Not to mention the X-tra benefits of: saving on gas and time!!


 well, I could go on and on and on.... but lets stop here.

What to do?

Make extra dinner every night so you can take the left over to work. Pack yourself a nice bag containing your meal, a salad or soup, fruits and snacks. Nuts make a great snack!

Was it very easy in the beginning? NOOOOOO!!!
But just like everything else you adapt to this new reality or shall I say CHOICE of being a BETTER and HEALTHIER YOU!

For more ideas on MEALS TO GO Visit:

Ribas with Love

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mission Clean up
Target: Refrigerator
It's one of those things, you use it so much you forget it needs to be cleaned!  Sounds familiar? 
That's right... I am talking about THE REFRIGERATOR
Well girlfriend, pull your sleeves up and get your gloves on we are going to clean this thing.
I am going to say this laud and clear ~ EMPTY IT ALL OUT!!  yes your heard me THE WHOLE THING.  You will be surprise what you find back there and all the expired food "aaawwgh"
This is a good opportunity for you to CHANGE some of your eating habits, get rid of some junk food and replace it with good healthy foods.
Mission Clean Up: Step 2
Wipe clean all the shaves and walls.  Use soapy water instead of toxic sprays. 
Mission Clean Up: Step 3
Wash your fruits and veggies. I have a special homemade recipe I use you can find it on my blog To make like easier, cut your veggies, slice them the way you like to cook so that when you are busy during the week they are all washed and cut already! 
Mission Clean Up: Step 4
Organization is the key to an easier life! that goes for everything folks, your fridge.. no different!  re-use the containers you get from restaurants, label them. Ziplock bags works too!  You will be amazed how much you can fit when you use these organizational skills and the best part is YOU CAN SEE AND EASILY GRAB EVERYTHING!!
Now that my refrigerator is clean, and I hope yours is too :) let's give ourselves a well deserved rest or a treat!
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~ Ribas with Love