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! 🙂

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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

Did you guys think I was going to leave you hanging again?!?!

Happy Friday! This week’s Foodie Friday is dedicated to one of Phil’s lunchtime favorites – chicken stir fry! Now I am fully aware that there isn’t anything fancy about stir fry but there are little things you can do so your veggies aren’t soggy & the sauce packs a punch without  the calories. IMG_0962One of the first things I do is season the chicken (little bit of EVOO and seasonings of your choice). Get your skillet really hot and sear the chicken on both sides to seal in the flavor…once you sear things on both sides turn the heat down to med/low and cook the chicken almost all the way through. While the chicken cooks, slice the veggies & onions, and mince the garlic. Once the chicken is done remove it from the skillet and let it rest, throw the onion into the skillet with a little bit of EVOO. Allow the onions to cook down, add garlic, and toss in the veggies…seasoning with salt/pepper, the dry spices you like. Chunk the chicken and add it back to your skillet, tossing together with the veggies. Turn the heat off before the veggies are finished cooking and let everything cool. Make a pot of brown rice w/veggie stock & a bay leaf in the pot to add a more robust flavor.

I make this on the weekend for Phil to enjoy during the week for lunch. Stir fry is one of those awesome things that can be made from anything you have lying around in your refrigerator, so get creative!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

What a beautiful week. I can not believe this week is ending in such a rainy weekend but it gives Phil and I a perfect excuse to get things done around the house. The rain better clear up by Sunday though because I am teaching at an outdoor neighborhood festival. Sunday Streets SF kicks off this weekend on Valencia St. and I am teaching a class to represent Moxie & bring yoga to the neighborhood. Come out to 1252 Valencia (where we’re set up) at 11:30 if you’re in San Francisco. FullSizeRender-2.jpgAs promised previously, Phil and I kicked things up a notch this week and I even added some juice to really hydrate and boost my energy. In honor of making things even healthier, this week’s Foodie Friday is an oldie but goodie…almond joy chia pudding. I absolutely love this stuff, so does Phil (he actually requested it), and the best part, it takes next to nothing to make.

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Almond Joy Chia Pudding

  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1/3 cup Cacao Powder
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • Pinch Salt

 

 

 

Mix milk, honey, and cacao powder. Add chia, coconut, and a pinch of salt. Allow to set in the fridge overnight or for 6hrs. You can enjoy this all by itself of you can add it to fresh bananas, nuts, whatever you like..for a healthy snack or dessert!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Happy April Fools Friends!

imageI can’t remember the last time it was a true 1st Friday and April Fools, so my lame attempt at a prank was posting now! I  wish Phil and I were in the city so we could see the opening of the different art exhibitions. I used to love the Old City 1st Friday art openings while Phil and I were in Philadelphia but it all got very crowded and crazy so we couldn’t enjoy it. Even though we’ve been here a year we still haven’t done a 1st Friday in SF…I think May might have to be the month. We’re in  Tahoe for some spring skiing and a break from the city. The ski season is coming to a close for us, only a few weeks left, and we’re both looking towards bikini season, haha!imageSince it is officially the first Friday of this month, its a plated Foodie Friday and this week its fish, veggies, and a delicious range of flavors: on the menu is a thai curry tilapia, cheesy vegetable linguine, and gruyere grilled cheese. image.jpegComment below with your email address for a chance to receive a free box!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

Foodie Friday

Happy Friday Friends!

Phil and I are excited for our special guests this weekend…Joe & Ashley April are in town! We have the pleasure of sharing Joe’s 31st birthday with them, showing the ‘other Aprils’ around San Francisco. I love when anyone comes to visit because its an excuse for us to explore and check out this incredible city. We have a few reservations so I’m not sure how much cooking I’ll be doing but if you’re cooking this weekend & want to keep it light, try today’s Foodie Friday pick, zucchini ribbon pasta & veggies w/basil & parmesan.

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta & VeggiesIMG_1013

  • 1/2 sm. carton of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of asparagus – trimmed
  • 1/2 pint mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 sm. yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 medium zucchini – sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1-2 tbsp parmesan cheese – grated
  •  basil for garnish
  • EVOO
  • Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat Oven 425. Dice onion & mince garlic. Prep cherry tomatoes, trimmed asparagus, and mushrooms to roast in the oven by tossing in a tablespoon of EVOO, salt & pepper. Spread veggies out on roasting pan and pop into the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the cherry tomatoes blister, the asparagus starts to brown, & the the mushrooms edges darken. While they cook, place a large sauté pan on medium heat w/EVOO & add red pepper flakes. Once oil is hot add the onions & garlic – cook until translucent & season with salt & pepper. Add zucchini to the pan and toss in with the onions, garlic, pepper flakes, & oil in the pan. Allow the zucchini to cook for a few minutes but not until translucent…toss with roasted veggies, finish with grated cheese, basil and a drizzle of truffle oil or EVOO.

I’m not going to lie and say it tastes like pasta because it doesn’t, hahaha, but it does taste delicious and is a fabulous way to get a lot of extra nutrients & hydration in your diet. You can get creative and change up the veggies, herbs, add lemon, etc.. and still have a wonderfully nutritious meal.

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂