I’m going to start this off real serious now, this post is important. I’ve talked about my history of eyeglasses before, but I’ve never addressed eye health. This month I partnered with LensCrafters to spread awareness about eye health, something most of us haven’t even thought about – at least I didn’t! I took a poll on my instastories to see where eyeglasses and eye health stood with you, and first wanted to share the results: 50% answered that they wear glasses/contacts daily. Then I asked, “regardless of if you wear glasses or not, do you get your eyes checked annually”, and 65% came back and said, “NO”. If this was you, don’t feel bad! I was part of the, “NO” team one time too, telling myself, “My prescription hasn’t changed, why do I need to go back?” Or, “I still have contacts left, I’ll skip my annual eye exam until I run out.” If it wasn’t for my visit to LensCrafters, my opinion about this probably wouldn’t have changed. They really broke down why it’s important to get your eyes checked annually, explained their technology, which is exclusive to only LensCrafters stores and how it is the most advanced. They even have technology that can scan your retina without having to dilate your eyes with those awful drops! Although, those drops did get my a hall pass from work once, haha! The Clarifye eye exam gave me four different results: if there is a difference in my eyes between night and day (which is important for driving!), dryness, measured my cornea and estimated my prescription. LensCrafters also checks the pressure of your eyes and for glaucoma, which is important to catch early because it’s a disease that slowly breaks down your eye. Lastly, they talked me through my history of health as well as my results. It didn’t take long either! My visit with LensCrafters was the most thorough exam I’ve ever received in my 15 years of getting them done. Most believe, including me, that you get your eyes checked for vision reasons and to get or update your prescription. However, the reason WHY you should get your eyes checked annually is because they can actually discover so many more things about your health than you would ever believe or possibly know about because when your eyes get damaged, you don’t feel anything because there are no nerves. That said, Retina Tears, Clogged Arteries, Diabetes, Hypertension, Tumors – these are all things LensCrafters can discover and detect early on with your eyes. Crazy, Right?!
Okay, so enough about eye exams! I also had an absolute blast trying on their glasses and finally testing out colored contacts – something I’ve always wanted to do! They have so many designers and styles, but I left with a pair of Michael Kors Pink Gold Aviators. I figured I bought enough fake aviator glasses, it was finally time to get the real ones, since I do need as daily prescription! (Yes, Guilty I would wear fake glasses over my contacts, Haha). I also ordered Turquoise colored contacts, because why not!? Ha! YOLO! In my new fancy glasses, I then celebrated the evening with LensCrafters and Jamie King, who is absolutely adorable BTW. She is an ambassador for LensCrafters, and it was so fun to meet her and learn from someone who is so passionate about eye health. We took a cooking class at Haven’s Kitchen and made eye healthy recipes that were so delicious!!! Not to mention, super tasty and healthy for you. The whole evening with the LensCrafters team and cooking with Jamie King was a night to remember – it was a really cool experience. I saved all the recipes from Haven’s Kitchen to share below. I hope you try them out! 🙂 Lastly, I hope I didn’t make anyone worried about the above! Those are all the extreme cases, but the bottom line is eye health is important. I’ve always loved sharing knowledge, and I do feel like I have a social responsibility to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you. I hope you take something away from all of this. Whether it is thinking about getting a eye exam or making some eye healthy recipes, knowledge is power and your health is what is most important! 🙂 <3 Love always, xx A
EYE HEALTHY RECIPES FROM HAVEN’S KITCHEN BELOW!! 🙂
Carrot Ribbon and Ricotta Crostini on Seeded Toast
Makes 6 toasts
6 slices of a seedy health loaf
4 small colorful carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandolin
2 tablespoons picked parsley, mint or cilantro
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil + more for drizzling and tossing
marash or aleppo pepper for sprinkling
3⁄4 cup ricotta
Combine the carrot slices, salt, lemon juice and olive oil, in that order. Mix with herbs.
Drizzle to seeded loaf slices with olive oil, season with salt and put on a baking tray.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tray in the oven and toast until lightly golden,
about 5 minutes.
Spread the toasts with the ricotta and top with the carrot slices. Sprinkle some marash or
Ricotta Cheese Recipe
1 quart heavy cream
1 quart whole milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Heat the milk and cream in a large pot over medium-high. Bring to about 190 degrees
(will simmer up and almost want to boil) then stir in the lemon juice and vinegar. Rest for
10-15 minutes. Pour into a cheesecloth lined strainer to separate ricotta from whey.
Season once the cheese is cooled with salt and black pepper.
Romesco Deviled Eggs
Serves 6 as a canape
Deviled eggs are a blank slate to indulge your preferences or use any leftovers. We
added a traditional Spanish red pepper sauce, romesco, into the filling for our eggs. Red
peppers are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and carotenoids making them a wonderful
food for ultimate eye health.
1⁄4 cup romesco sauce (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
Smoked spanish paprika, to sprinkle
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Using a spoon, add the eggs, gently so as not to crack the
shells. Boil gently, for 10 minutes and remove the eggs to a bowl of ice water. When they
are cool, peel the eggs and cut them in half. Remove the yolks and mash with a fork or
in a food processor. Add the romesco and salt to taste.
Fill the eggs either by placing the filling in a piping bag, or with a spoon. Sprinkle with
almonds and paprika and serve at room temperature.
Makes about a cup
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄3 cup skinless marcona almonds
3 garlic cloves
1 16-ounce can piquillo peppers, drained
1⁄2 tsp pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)
salt to taste
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Add 2 tablespoons of oil, garlic and to a medium saute pan. Turn on the heat to low.
Toast the garlic and nuts until they are lightly golden and fragrant, stirring and flipping
occasionally. Add in the piquillo peppers and turn up the heat slightly. Mix until peppers
are hot, add the paprika and stir for 1 minute to toast the spice. Turn off the heat and
add the vinegar.
Blend in either a food processor or blender until nearly smooth.
Roasted + Raw Beet + Citrus Salad + Savory granola
2 # large red beets
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 bunch small yellow or pink beets, peeled and thinly shaved on a mandolin
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil + additional
1 grapefruit, supremed
2 oranges, zest peeled, pith removed, and sliced into rounds
1 handful arugula or spinach
1⁄2 cup savory granola, recipe follows
In a baking dish lined with foil, toss the large beets with olive oil and some orange zest
strips. Season with salt and add two tablespoons red wine vinegar and 1 cup of water.
Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake at 400 degrees until the beets are very easily
pierced with a small knife or fork (about 1 hour). Check the water level a few times and
make sure there is sufficient liquid so that the beets do not burn.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool while still wrapped in foil. This will allow the
beets to steam and will help the skin come off easily. When the beets are cool enough to
handle rub them with a towel to remove their skins. Cut into 1” cubes and toss in the
remaining red wine vinegar, some salt and some olive oil.
Mix the thinly sliced beets with the white wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and then
remove. Add the shallots and mustard to the vinegar and whisk to combine. Slowly
stream in the olive oil, to create an emulsified dressing.
Toss the citrus, the two types of beets and the dressing. Taste for salt. Place salad on a
cool platter and top with arugula and savory granola.
Yields about 2 cups
237.5 grams water
10 grams flax meal
40 grams chia seed
85 grams pumpkin seed
85 grams sunflower seed
75 grams sesame seed
3.5 grams aleppo pepper
2.5 grams cumin seed
5 grams salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together water, flax meal, chia seed, aleppo, cumin
and salt. Let sit until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Pulse pumpkin and sunflower seeds, in a food processor until broken up. Stir into mixture.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment and spray with non-stick. Pour on the mixture and
smooth with a spatula until even. Bake for 35-45 minutes, rotating occasionally, until
mixture is completely hard. Let cool and then break up into granola clusters. Store in an
airtight container for 1 month.
Salmon Stuffed with Kale + Pistachio Pesto
Easy enough for a quick weeknight dinner, but elegant enough for a Saturday night
dinner party, this salmon is a huge crowd pleaser. Oily fish, like salmon, and kale are full
of nutrients beneficial towards eye heath. You could also fill the salmon with a variety of
savory mixes, perhaps spinach and artichokes, or crab and herbs. This method, cooked
in parchment or en papillote, at a low temperature, keeps the salmon incredibly tender
4 8-ounce portions of salmon
1⁄2 bunch kale, de-stemmed,
1⁄2 clove garlic
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted
1/4 cup parsley leaves and tender stems
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
parchment paper, cut into large hearts
Lemon wedges for serving
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the kale. Blanch until it is tender and easy to
chew. The cooking time will depend on the toughness of the kale. Remove to a bowl, or
tray and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, form into a ball and squeeze out
all the excess water. Roughly chop.
Pound garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar and until it turns into a paste. Grind
pistachios in a food processor until coarse and chunky. Remove to a bowl and add
parsley, kale and a pinch of salt to the food processor. While food processor is running,
stream in the olive oil. Combine the herb mixture, the nuts, garlic and the cheese and
taste for salt.
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Create a 1 – 1 1⁄2” slit in each of the salmon portions
sides. Season both sides of the salmon with salt. Stuff the salmon with with the 2-3
tablespoons of the pesto.
Lightly oil one side of the parchment heart and place the fish in the middle of that side.
Drizzle with a little additional olive oil. Fold over the other side of the heart and make
creases, starting at the heart’s dimple, and folding all around to create a package that
looks like an empanada. Fold the last crease under the package to seal the deal.
Bake at 300 degrees, for 6-10 minutes, until a skewer can be easily inserted into the fish,
and feels warm not hot.
Unwrap the salmon and serve on a warm platter with lemon wedges and freshly cracked
Berries + Hibiscus Salad with Yogurt Mousse x
Serves 10 – 12 ppl
This is a refreshing and light dessert. The yogurt mousse is courtesy of Food and Wine
1 1⁄2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 oz dried hibiscus
Zest and juice of one lime
4 cups strawberries, cut in quarters or half depending on size
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
Mint to garnish
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for five minutes. In a
small saucepan combine the lime juice with 6 tablespoons of the sugar and simmer over
moderate heat just until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat
and stir in the gelatin and water, until fully melted. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl
and let cool slightly. Stir in the yogurt.
In another bowl, beat the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until softly
whipped. Fold the cream into the yogurt mixture and refrigerate until chilled and set, at
least 1 hr.
In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar and hibiscus, and bring to a simmer. Turn off
the heat and chill and strain. Combine the berries with the lime juice and zest. Toss with
cooled syrup and allow to macerate for at least 30 minutes (up to 4 hours).
Spoon berry mixture into the bowl and top with a scoop of the yogurt mousse. Garnish
with mint leaves.