Sunday, April 12, 2015

How to Make Health and Happiness Part of Your Morning Routine and Red Kidney Bean Sandwich Spread Recipe


This post is mainly about sharing my thoughts on how I make health and happiness part of my morning routine. I was inspired by Aloha to join in on this conversation. There are a few simple things that help me start my day like I woke up on the right side of the bed, even if that is not the case. After checking my email, followed by a shower, I eat breakfast. Eating breakfast is new for me - especially on weekdays, because I wake at 5am most week days and I do not feel hungry at that time. However, I have made breakfast a priority now because it makes me feel more energized and less tempted to binge on food when I come back home from work.

I keep breakfast simple. It is usually two toasts of Ezekiel bread with homemade plant-based sandwich spread, hummus or mashed avocado with sea salt, topped with a slice of tomato, cucumber and a big mound of spinach leaves. Check out my red kidney bean sandwich spread recipe below for easy and cheap toast topper. Instead of bread, you can also use collards or other greens as your sandwich "bread." This recipe found on Aloha's Web Site for collard wrap has inspired me to think outside my bread. I am looking forward to trying it soon.
Red kidney bean sandwich spread on two toasts of Ezekiel bread. After I took this picture, I topped both sandwiches with a  mound of spinach leaves. 
My other step to coloring my day with health and happiness via my morning routine is waking my body up. Sounds strange, huh? Well, after you have been sleeping for a number of hours and waking up your brain with a nice breakfast, waking up your body is the next natural step. First, I do Wonder Woman pose to boost my overall confidence for the day ahead.

It is clinically proven that your body language shapes who you are. By practicing Wonder Woman pose each morning or prior to a big presentation at work, try Wonder Woman pose for an extra confidence booster. 
Second, walking to my work instead of taking the train aides in my ability to face the day. By walking, I am getting my daily exercise and I get to relax and reflect during my walk while listening to my favorite music. For me, 80's new wave does the trick. After my 45 minute walking commute, I have released some of my nervous energy. Keep in mind having thoughts about the million things you have to do that day counts as this nervous energy. Spending physical energy by using your body to do it helps get rid of that energy and the less anxious I am, the happier I become.

Now onto the recipe.
Red Kidney Bean Sandwich Spread

1 (15-ounce can) red kidney beans, washed, drained and mashed
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons or less of olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon or less sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sweet red paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely diced

Preheat frying pan on a medium-low heat. Sauté onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add minced garlic and continue sautéing for another two minutes. While the onion and garlic are sautéing, prepare your beans. Drain and rinse the beans, followed by mashing them thoroughly with a fork in a medium bowl. Add the sautéed onion and garlic to the mashed beans along with all the spices. Do not add all the salt at once as you may want add more or less depending on preference. Add chopped parsley and additional tablespoon or less of olive oil to the spread, mix well and taste for additional seasonings. You can eat it right away, and store what is left over in a closed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! So simple, tasty and healthy. I'm gonna sub the onion for garlic. ;)