February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day::Foods I LOVE

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
In honor of the day for LOVE, 
I'm going to share some of my favorite foods:

(my attempt at making a heart-shaped apple)

1. Avocados

They're rich, creamy, sweet, filled with monosaturated fats, 
and they are a prerequisite for any decent salad in my eyes ;)
Over the summer, I used to eat an avocado per day, but
I realized that despite the great health benefits that avocados
provide, they're still very heavy in calories and fat, so it's best
to just stick to 1/2 an avocado per day ;)

Aside from salads and guacamole, avocados are great in smoothies,
they're key ingredients in vegan mousse, they make soups really creamy
without adding heavy cream, and they can even be made into ice creams!

2. Salmon

I rarely eat meat nowadays, but I'll always make room
on my plate for salmon ;) From smoked to my dad's
special broiled salmon, salmon is absolutely delicious
and is filled with omega-3 fatty oils that are essential for shiny
hair and healthy nails! 

3. Japanese Pumpkin

Pumpkin used to be one of those vegetables that I used
to hate as a kid (other than pumpkin pie). But on my second trip
to China, when there was literally nothing that interested my palate at the 
restaurants we ate at, I learned to really enjoy Japanese pumpkin! It's much 
creamier and has a deeper taste profile compared to regular pumpkins that 
you pick during Halloween; in fact, the best way to eat it, in my opinion, is 
just as it is! I love how my grandpa cooks it; just cooking it with a little water
until it turns almost into a half-puree mixture (it's creamy like mashed potatoes but
still has texture) and very little salt.

4. Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Peanut Butter

I found it way too difficult to take a decent photo of peanut
butter without grossing all those anti-peanut butter-ists out there,
so I combined it with this yummy, gluten-free, low-calorie, light
spring roll. 

My take on Vietnamese Spring Rolls: 

5. Creamy Carrot and Cauliflower Soup

I MUST share this recipe very soon ;) 
Although it's a new favorite of mine (I just came up with this recipe a few days ago),
but it's absolutely PERFECT. It's vegan, gluten-free, and extremely delicious.
Cauliflowers are great substitutes for potatoes or heavy cream because they
make soups really rich and creamy without all the saturated fat and calories
and they add a depth of flavor without the undesirable cauliflower taste that 
not many people enjoy. My secret ingredient: my ketchup chickpeas :) 
(trust me, it works)

Of course, watermelon is a true love of mine, but it's not exactly a 
feasible favorite since they can't really be found where I live for
a decent price during the off-season. Nevertheless, I still love it!

Happy Valentine's Day!
What are your favorite healthy foods?

xoxo, Hannah

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