FOOD

Spaghetti and Meat(less)balls

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The other day I saw these Crispy Eggplant Parmesan Subs on A Beautiful Mess + I instantly knew I had to try em’.

I’m cutting bread as much as possible during the week days because it makes me sluggish + sloooooow, something I simply can’t afford with brutal Life is Messy Kitchen deadlines every other day. So I made a few changes here + there to make the original recipe extra healthy.

These Spaghetti and Meat(less)balls are made with wholesome ingredients without sacrificing the comfort-feel that we all expect in this insignia dish.

Hope you love it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized eggplant (about 1 1/2 cup diced)
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano (plus more for the topping)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 organic egg
  • Zucchini Pasta (instruction below)
  • Marinara Sauce (use your favorite recipe)
  • Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

Preparation:

Step 1: Blend eggplant + onion + garlic + garbanzo + oregano + salt in a food processor. Puree until the ingredients are combined in a spread-like mixture.

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Step 2: With a spatula, stir in the egg + 1 cup of almond flour.

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Step 3: Use your clean hands to divide the mixture into 18-20 small balls. Place these on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Step 4: Preheat oven to 350 F.

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Step 5: Once the balls have hardened from refrigerating, coat each ball in a thin coat of the remaining almond flour.

Step 6: Bake for 30 minutes. If you like yours a bit crispier, leave for 5-7 more minutes.

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Step 7: Serve with marinara sauce over zucchini pasta.

How to Make the Zucchini Pasta

Spaghetti style zucchini noodles can be made using a vegetable peeler + julienne peeler + mandolin + spiral vegetable cutter.

Pass the vegetable peeler or julienne peeler down one lengthwise side of the zucchini. Only catch a thin portion of the zucchini, no thicker than 1/2 inch, for each pass in order to create thin spaghetti-like noodles. If using a julienne peeler, this thickness should already be preset, so no additional work will need to be done on your part.

If using a mandolin, make sure that the blade is set for a julienne style cut. Pass the zucchini over the blade lengthwise to create thin noodles.

When using a spiral vegetable cutter, press the zucchini against the blade of the spiral slicer + crank the handle of the simple machine. As you wind the handle + press on the zucchini, thin spirals should come out of the other end of the blade.

When you approach the seeds, turn the zucchini + begin slicing another side. The seeds will prevent the noodles from holding together, so you do not want to use the part with seeds in it.

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I’m actively looking for ways to turn nostalgic food we all treasure into real meals worthy of superheros. What are some of your favorite recipes growing up? Do you have any special dishes that you would like me to test in my mad laboratory + turn into healthy that tastes like bad-for you? Cuz you know me… I can’t eat cardboard!

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

FOOD

Banana Blueberry Tart

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Before we begin… the biggest + fattest HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most wonderful woman in the Universe: My mom!

Thanks for always picking up. I know you have like a very important job + everything. I know a call A LOT with my Apocalyptic little problems. I just want you to know that just knowing you’re there makes me feel instantly better.

Thanks for never missing a dance recital. I noticed. How did you do to get front row middle seats every time?

Thanks for being my rock. My alarm clock till the last day of school. The sponsor for every mad projects I’ve invented. I know you didn’t want anyone to know you angel invested my app, so I won’t say a word. Crap!

I know you hate your birthday, but I looooove your birthday. Birthdays are a sign of good health. Did you know, studies show that people who have more birthdays live longer? It’s true. So I hope you let us sing for you “Japi Berdie Tu Yu” + drink sparkling stuff + eat scrumptious food + we mustn’t forget your birthday Banana Blueberry Tart! I made it. For YOU!

Oh you wanna make it too? Smart girl. Steal the recipe below.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (more for the prep work)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 ounce light butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (soft brown sugar works too)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (pure maple syrup works too)
  • Coconut oil, for coating

Preparation:

Step 1: Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.

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Step 2: Lightly coat a pizza baking tray with coconut oil. Sift the flours + spices into a bowl. Add the butter + sugar + rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make well and then add enough buttermilk to mix to a soft dough.

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Step 3: Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 9 inch diameter round. Place on the tray + roll the edge to form a rim.

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Step 4: Spread the blueberries over the dough.

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Step 5: Slice the bananas, toss them in the lemon juice, then arrange over the top.

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Step 6: Sprinkle with coconut palm sugar + drizzle over honey.

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Step 7: Bake for 25 minutes, until the base is browned. Serve immediately.

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You made it! Now kick off your shoes + go have a slice of heaven + forget all your troubles. It’s Friday!

 

 

 

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

BUSINESS

How To Be Original

Being Original Poster

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been copied.

Raise your hand if your work has ever been plagiarized without remorse.

Raise your hand if you thought it was rude + disrespectful, not only to you but to the entire human species.

Raise your hand if you considered dropping your “copy cat” a nuclear bomb. It’s okay, it’s safe here.

It’s true, the internet is making it easier than ever for people (ahem lazy people) to steal. The story of the student who registers for a course + compulsively takes notes + three months later (flick magic wand), launches “their version”, is happening more and more often. It’s a jungle out there.

Simultaneously, there’s a big coalition happening. When brands take a sharp left turn at the normal stop sign, they trip the whole system. Weird is impossible to imitate.

There are one too many Gucci rip offs, but there’s only ONE Gucci. Rembrandt had “painter assistants”, but no one remembers their name because there’s only ONE Rembrandt.

Today I want to talk about being original. Standing out, so no one, no matter how hard they try, can pass off as YOU!

Click play to watch a very especial episode with a very special cameo appearance!

Let’s recap!

Wanna be original? Here’s a place to start:

  • Recognize the areas of your life in which you are living disconnected from your true self.
  • Proclaim who you want to be.
  • Work it! Develop + express your individuality.
  • Accept that YOU might not look like the YOU you thought about in your head.
  • Practice your authentic muscle.

Your turn!

As homework I want you to make a list of all the things that make you “unidentifiable”. Original. Authentic. Drop them in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Despite my continuos brainwashing efforts, my little sister Laura (we are 11 years apart), actually, doesn’t want to copy me. What is wrong with her? Seriously.

FOOD

Chargrilled Veggie Terrine

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Dear Santa,

I know it’s July, but in case you’re keeping tabs for your Naughty + Nice lists, I wanted you to know that I’m not competing anymore. I’m on the happiness train now, which includes guilt-free pepperoni pizza. That’s regular pepperoni pizza, minus the feeling bad part, by the way.

xo,

Mayi

PS: S’more cookies will be in the usual spot. That’ll never change!

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I hope you’re having a super lazy Friday, with a pinch on naughty + a dash of nice.

I hope you left the office early.

I hope you’re catching this on your phone, on your way to some sort of beach.

I hope you’re wearing bright pink lipstick, if that’s your thing. Or sweatpants, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I hope you’re day dreaming about a weekend feast. I wish for us mojitos + recipes that lick the plate clean. Especially the mojitos part.

Here’s a sloooow + relaxed dish that will go well with that: Chargrilled Veggie Terrine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • Italian seasonings, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 11 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 ounces basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • 3 marinated artichokes, drained + sliced in half
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, drained + chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

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Preparation:

Step 1: Prepare the eggplant. Layer eggplant + salt in a colander. Set aside for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.

Step 2: To prepare the rest of the veggies, wash 3 glass jars with lid in hot soapy water. Rinse in hot water. Drain upside-down until completely dry. Heat a chargrill over high heat. Cook eggplant + zucchini + red bell pepper, in batches, for 4 to 5 minutes each side, or until browned + tender. Transfer to a bowl. Add italian seasonings. Toss gently to combine. Transfer to prepared jar. Add oil to cover eggplant. Seal jar. Refrigerate. To skip this step, you can buy chargrilled eggplant + red pepper + zucchini at most delicatessens.

Step 3: The next day, line a 9 x 5 x 2 1/5 inch loaf tin with plastic wrap, leaving a generous amount hanging over the sides.

Step 4: Place the ricotta + garlic in a bowl + beat until smooth. Season with salt + pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 5: Drain the chargrilled vegetables.

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Step 6: Line the base of the tin with half the eggplant, cutting + fitting to cover the base. Top with a layer of half the red peppers. Then all the zucchini slices. Spread evenly with the ricotta mixture + press down firmly. Place the chiffonaded basil leaves on top of the ricotta. Arrange the artichoke + sun dried tomatoes + mushrooms in three rows lengthwise on top of the ricotta.

Step 7: Top with another layer of chargrilled red peppers + finish with the eggplant. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the top of the terrine.

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Step 8: Put a piece of cardboard on top + weight it down with weights or small food cans. Refrigerate the terrine overnight.

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Step 9: To serve, peel back the plastic wrap + turn the terrine out onto a plate. Remove the plastic wrap + cut into think slices.

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Step 10: Serve with a side of arugula, massaged with high quality extra-virgin olive oil.

Step 11: Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap + store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Connect with other foodies. Tag your recipe recreations @mayicarles using the hashtag #lifeismessykitchen. 

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

FOOD

Orange Blossom Cupcakes with Orange Kissed Cashew Cream

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Know my favorite dance? The Happy Indepen-DANCE. Get it?

Plop!

Alright, maybe that’s only funny after eating an entire batch of these Orange Blossom Cupcakes with Orange Kissed Cashew Cream. I would say it’s the sugar high, but these are sugar-free as well as gluten-free, so I’m not really sure what’s going on.

Anyhoo, I made these cupcakes for my dear “gringuita” friends who are celebrating their birthday today. Yee ha! Potluck-friendly cupcakesperfect to match the Forth of July festivities. Minus the fire-farts.

You see, I was lucky to call “the States” my home-away-from-home for six years – four of them in Evanston, Illinois (going to Northwestern University) + two of them living downtown Chicago (getting my Masters at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago). Fun times.

I was fortunate to presence many firework shows + drink one too many red/white/blue jello shots + oh em gee savor what a real BBQ should taste like. American’s sure know who to live big + rock their grill. That’s for sure. I only hope they’ve left a little room for dessert this time, cuz I baked cupcakes. And they are divine.

World Cup aficionados, these are for you too!

Here’s how to make em’:

Cupcake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom
  • 2 eggs
  • Desiccated orange, for topping (the zest of 1 orange also works)

Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours + drained + rinsed
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scrapped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 freshly-squeezed orange
  • Maple syrup, to taste

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Preparation:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325° F to make the Orange Blossom Cupcakes first.

Step 2: Combine flour + salt + baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil + maple syrup + orange juice + eggs.

Step 3: Mix dry with wet until well incorporated.

Step 4: Divide batter among cupcake tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Step 5: To make the Orange Kissed Cashew Cream, place cashews + dates + coconut oil + vanilla bean + salt in a high speed blender + pulse. Add orange juice little by little until you reach a smooth consistency. Add maple syrup until it’s sweet enough for your tastebuds. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 hour before piping the cupcakes.

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Step 6: To serve, whip cupcakes with the decadent cream + top with orange zest or unsweetened desiccated orange.

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Next week, I’m coming back to share some secret projects I’ve been working on. So happy to finally reveal these behind the scenes + get back to video-making. Have you missed me? I’ve sure missed YOU!

To my American friends, I hope you have a magical Forth of July weekend. To my Brazilian + Colombian + German + French, may the best team win!

Okay, I’ll stop rambling now.  Just make these cupcakes you guys. You’re gonna LOVE them.

Photo Credit

Marcela Macias

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