Foodie Friday!

We’ve made it through another week and now its time to celebrate! This week I’m coming to you from beautiful Palm Springs where the sun is shining and it’s always a good time for a cocktail…after meditation, yoga, and a nice long walk of course! I’m here through the weekend & enjoying most of my meals out – if you’re ever in Palm Springs, you must try Farm, Jakes, & The Workshop – but didn’t want to leave you hanging, so today on the blog I’m sharing my ‘chicken’ tostada recipe which still needs a little work.IMG_2592.JPG Of course if you’re not a vegetarian you’re welcome to sub real chicken for the vegetarian alternative but you certainly won’t notice the difference. IMG_2590

Vegetarian Chicken Tostadas

  • whole wheat tortillas
  • green cabbage (shredded)
  • red onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (rough chopped)
  • sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • taco seasoning (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika)
  • beer can
  • ’chicken’ strips
  • refried beans
  • cilantro
  • lime

Gather your ingredients & start by adding lime, cilantro, & salt to your cabbage. Then heat EVOO in a skillet on medium/high heat and add red onion, sweet potato, & garlic. To the veg., add 1/2 your spice mix & as things begin to stick, add a little beer to loosen, and keep cooking everything down. While the veg. is going, preheat the oven to 350 and brush your tortillas with EVOO. Put the refried beans in a pot with some beer and heat. Add the shredded ‘chicken’ to the veg. with the rest of the beer and spices, and pop the tortillas in the oven. After a few minutes all the flavors in your skillet should meld & the tortillas should be crispy – you’re ready to plate. Start with your tortilla, smear on some of the beans, pile up the veg., top with slaw, & sprinkle on some hot sauce…these suckers pack a punch & are super healthy! Mix up a margarita, kick back, and enjoy!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

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Foodie Friday

Happy  New Year Friends!

I hope everyone’s holiday was enjoyable & you haven’t given up on your resolutions. I tried to keep mine really simple, be kind: to myself, to others, etc… so I will keep you posted on that throughout the year. I have been keeping myself busy trying to find a new yoga home here in Walnut Creek & planning all the travel coming up – Palm Springs next week, Philadelphia & Charleston in March, Mexico in April, Virginia Beach in May, Spain in June, and Italy in July…oh boy!! With all the travel on the horizon I have been focusing on easy, comforting, and healthy recipes while I am home. This week I have been enjoying a hearty vegetarian soup & it couldn’t have been more simple to make.img_2587

Tuscan Bean Soup

  • 1 container vegetable stock 
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cans tuscan beans
  • 1 big bunch of kale 
  • 1 large white onion 
  • 6 cloves garlic 
  • 3 zucchini 
  • 1 bag carrots 
  • 1 bag celery 
  • 1 bag small potatoes 
  • 1 bunch tyme 
  • 1 sm. bunch sage 
  • salt/pepper
  • EVOO
  • Parmesan

Peel & small dice carrots, small dice celery, garlic, & onion, quarter and dice zucchini, tear kale from stems, quarter potatoes, & prep herbs while 1/4cup EVOO heats up in a large dutch oven on the stove top. Start with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, & potatoes in the pot and cook down for 10 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, beans (drained), herbs, salt & pepper – cook until it simmers. Mix in kale & zucchini and allow soup to cook together for another 10 minutes. Ladle into a bowl, sprinkle on some freshly grated Parmesan (optional), and enjoy!

With this recipe I have enough soup for lunches all week & 5 more portions frozen in mason jars for the next time I have a hankering for this delicious comfort dish.

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Happy last Friday in November friends! I feel cliche saying this but I can’t believe its almost December. The older I get, the faster time goes – I just can’t handle it. Another thing that happens when you get older…it gets harder to maintain your weight. What’s even harder, is to loose weight once you’ve slipped. In 4 months I put on about 20lbs…granted I was on a medication that fully disclosed weight gain as a symptom but I don’t know if ALLLLL that can be contributed to the meds. ANYWAY, my body is detoxing and I am continuing to be healthy – eating right and trying new forms of exercise. I starting kickboxing (more on that later), and subscribed to Kayla Itsines’s SWEAT app. for   workout inspiration. I don’t follow her diet nor do I follow the program as its designed but its fun & helping to keep me motivated.

Another piece is changing locations and schedules – it throws a kink into the diet & cooking regime. Between commuting into the city (yes, I am still doing that), taking care of my little family, I have less time to grocery shop prep food. I have to do my best with one big trip weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, to the farmers market & grocery store. With this new way of foraging I’ve needed to come up with more inspired dishes; hence, whole wheat couscous with herbs, pine nuts, cucumber & citrus. I threw this together the other night with the things in my fridge and cabinet…proof that you can make healthy, flavorful meals, if you keep a well stocked pantry & fridge.  The beautiful roasted squash is curtesy of Alison Roman‘s Dining In book that is full of delicious, easy, & unique recipes.

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Citrus Couscous with Herbs, Pine Nuts, & Cucumber 

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat couscous
  • lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (dry roasted & cooled)
  • 1 tbsp harissa oil (or regular EVOO)
  • herbs (parsley, dill, and cilantro – or whatever you like)
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Recipe:

Prepare couscous according to the package (basically boil water or stock, add couscous, turn off heat & cover for about 10 minutes  – its like the easiest thing ever) and allow to cool. While couscous is going, throw the pine nuts in a pan on medium heat, toss every few minutes until lightly browned (keep your eyes on those suckers – they burn quickly). Add remaining ingredients and BOOM, ALL DONE!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Happy Fall Friends! Its been awhile (per usual) but life is chaotic and finding the time to post anything has been a challenge. I can’t say things have been sunshine and roses but I can say I feel like things are getting better.

Its really feeling like fall here which as you know calls for comfort food. Its been hard to get in the mood for hearty dishes with temps. in the 80s but now that the evenings have cooled to the 40s, ITS TIME!!

I whipped up my first real comfort dish of the fall this week which was a whole wheat pasta with chickpeas and rainbow chard. I adapted this from a recipe I watched Giada make on The Food Network & it is one of my favorite vegetarian pasta dishes.

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Crispy Chickpea & Chard Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard (washed, dried, stems & leaves separated)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp capers (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and dried)
  • 1 tbsp pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • 3 tbsp evoo
  • 1 box ww pasta (macaroni, ditalini, etc..)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Recipe:

Place a pot of water (covered) on high heat for pasta. Grab a large pan and put on med/high heat. Fine chop stems, garlic and shallot. Add 1 tbsp evoo to the pan with pepper flakes and after a minute toss in the chickpeas – let them cook for about 10 minutes (until crispy). Add stems, capers, garlic, and shallots to the pan and turn heat to medium. Meanwhile add pasta to boiling water and throw in a decent dash of salt. Once pasta is cooked reserve 3/4 cup cooking water and drain remaining water from pasta. Take 1/4 cup pasta water add it to the pan and toss in the rough chopped chard. As soon as the chard is wilted add pasta, most of the cheese, lemon zest, the remaining evoo, and the remaining pasta water. Allow everything to come together (about 5 minutes), plate, top with remaining cheese, and serve.

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

 

Foodie Friday & The Move

So what has it been, two weeks? Maybe 3…I’m not sure, but it certainly has been a minute. With the craziness of the move, and a lot of other things going on, I couldn’t find the time to write. Well, I have been writing – journaling, and snippets of inspiration for a book in chewing on – but not here.

ANYWAY, we survived the move! It’s officially been a week and we’re nearly unpacked. When I say nearly, I mean we still have about 10 boxes sitting in the corner and a bunch of stuff strewn all over the place, but we’re settling in. I have been enjoying all the trails right outside my door, our beautiful pool, and A LOT more space.

Since I haven’t really had time to organize the kitchen and cook many proper meals, this week Foodie Friday is a salad – but a really AWESOME one! I made falafel the other night and put together this salad to go with it. If you’re saying to yourself ‘share your falafel recipe‘ Here it is, haha, you just add water.IMG_1357So back to the salad…I am mildly obsessed with feta cheese – it goes on nearly every salad I make, & this one is no exception.

Weeknight Salad

  • Mixed Greens
  • Pine Nuts
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Herbs (cilantro, parsley, & dill)
  • Feta Cheese
  • Shallot
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • EVOO
  • Salt & Pepper

IMG_1336I am pretty confident most of you know how to put together a salad but it’s all about the little things. For example, I buy raw nuts & toast them myself – TRUST, it makes a difference. Also, I don’t buy bottled dressing – get yourself some good EVOO and balsamic and just mixed them half & half. Last, add herbs to your salads to bump up the flavor profile – I always keep cilantro, parsley, and dill in my fridge but you can do whatever you want. Last, last, thing…just because its a salad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add salt (salt literally brings out flavor in food). Generously salt and pepper your greens before you dress them. Now that you’re in the know, you’re ready to go!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

OH BOY, it’s back! I don’t know how long it’s been since my last Foodie Friday but it is way overdue. I’m keeping it simple and sharing my favorite avocado toast! This tasty, trendy, and expensive plate has been popping up on menus all over the place; so naturally I had to put my own spin on it.

avacadosFirst, why is everyone so obsessed with avocado?? Deliciousness aside, this creamy green fruit has 20 vitamins & minerals with only 80 calories. In 1/3 an avocado you get a nutrient dense treat that can be used to make brownies, ice cream, pesto, etc… and this awesome toast!IMG_1089I love herbs & think they’re a great way to add a lot of flavor. When playing around with this recipe I tried a few different combos but consistently came back to dill, cilantro, & parsley. If you prefer something else – go for that!

Avocado Toast (4 servings)

  • 4 slices of multigrain bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1-3 sprigs of parsley, cilantro and dill (stemmed and rough chopped)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

The hard part of this recipe is picking a good avocado, and the harder part is poaching the eggs. If you’re not into that sort of thing you can soft boil, fry, or even scramble your eggs but I find it really simple. Add water and vinegar to a pan and set your stovetop to medium heat. Let the water come to a soft simmer (no hard bubbles) & crack in the eggs. Allow eggs to cook for 3-4 minutes (white fully cooked) and turn off the heat. The vinegar should keep the egg from sticking to the pan & you just remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. While all that exciting stuff is happening you can pop your toast in the oven, slice open your avocado, & combine it with the remaining ingredients listed. Spread your avocado mixture on the toast, top with your perfectly poached egg, & enjoy!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

Here we go!

So we had an awesome time in Nashville even though the weather was rainy! We hit the Honky Tonks on Broadway, toured RCA Studio B & Ryman Auditorium, ate our weight in delicious southern food, and enjoyed some time away together. Oh, and did I mention I snagged myself some of these…IMG_0618I have always wanted them and am so thrilled to have gotten two pair of beautiful boots in the Music City!

We missed the warm weather here in San Francisco. Of course it was gorgeous while we were away & now it feels like 35 outside. That’s okay, we soaked up the sun in Sonoma this weekend. We had such a great time with our friends and picked up from 3 of our 5 wine club memberships.IMG_0616With all the excitement we have been indulging a bit. Over the next few weeks we’re making a solid effort to stick with a healthier dietary routine starting today. Here’s what was on the grocery list:

  • Broccoli, Asparagus, Green Beans, Cucumber, Spinach, Kale, Bell Pepper, Cherry Tomatoes, Mixed Greens, Avocados, Iceberg Lettuce, Butternut Squash, Carrot, Celery, Dill, Parsley, Cilantro, Chives, Apples, Mandarins, Lemons, Limes, White Beans, Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Quinoa, Whole Wheat Penne, Whole Wheat Bread, Chicken (Phil), Shrimp (Me), & Tuna.

I will be making my first quinoa bowls EVER, so look for some recipes coming your way, & am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂