Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spice It UP!!! Cauliflower

I seriously slacked on this series last year, but I will definitely do better this year!  The plan is to feature an ingredient or spice on the last day of every month and link it back to recipes I have created (these will be updated with more recipes if the ingredient or spice is used).  My first selection: cauliflower!


Although most nutritionists encourage everyone to eat a rainbow of vegetables, many people don't count cauliflower as a color because it is white and might be less nutritious.  However, according to World's Healthiest Foods helps with the body's detox system, antioxidant system, and inflammatory system.  Cauliflower also aids in digestion because it packs 3 grams of fiber in every 25 calories (about 1 cup).  The chart below shows the vitamin and mineral content of 1 cup of raw cauliflower.

Nutrients in
1.00 cup raw (107.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

vitamin C85.9%

vitamin K20.7%



vitamin B610%





vitamin B57.1%





vitamin B23.5%

vitamin B13.3%

vitamin B32.7%


Calories (26)1%

This source verifies the nutrition content found on World's Healthiest Foods.  Both sources state that cauliflower is native to Asia--I didn't know that!


Select cauliflower with tight, compact buds and a snowy, creamy color.  The cauliflower should feel heavy in your hand.  They are best in the winter season. 


They should store for a week in the fridge, upside down to prevent moisture from molding the florets.


Cauliflower is best (most nutritious) in its rawest form, but it can withstand any cooking method.  This vegetable does release a sulfurous smell when cooking.


Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Mashed Cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin
Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter Bread Crumbs


Both websites state that people suffering from thyroid diseases will need to be careful eating this vegetable in prolong and large quantities because it contains compounds called goitrogens which swells the thyroid.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kitchen Beauty: Sea Salt Soak

I turn to my kitchen to make most of my beauty products like exfoliations, moisturizers, etc.  My favorite has to be a sea salt detox bath that can be made in 5 minutes (for 4 baths) and from three ingredients: sea salt, Epsom salt, and baking soda. 

Why do a detox bath?  Skin is the largest organ of the body that gets exposed to the most pollutants and toxins.  According to this site, detox baths help those with skin issues (like myself--I swear my skin hates me...).  Plus, "hot water draws toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface, and while the water cools it pulls toxins from the skin, according to Naturopath Dr. Hazel Parcells. Epsom salts augment this detoxification by causing you to sweat" according to here.  Soaking in a hot bath relieves tension and stress--need I say more?

The second website recommends you put glycerin in the water to not dry out the skin; I haven't had an issue, but I do rub a light layer of grapeseed oil on my skin afterwards which makes this bath ritual feel that much more luxurious (wear old clothes that you don't mind messing up with oil).  My skin ends up very happy and soft after this soak!
I take one when the day has been hard, when muscles are sore from exercising, or when I simply feel like relaxing.  Making this at home is much cheaper than buying it pre-made, and you can customize it to the scents you feel like using. 

{Mixing salts}

{Store in an air tight container}

Sea Salt Detox Bath

Makes 4 cups

1 cup sea salt (your choice of origin)
2 cups baking soda
1 cup Epsom salt
Essential oils (optional)
  1. Mix all ingredients together. 
  2. Store in an airtight container until needed.
  3. Add 1 cup to hot bath water.
  4. Add 3-4 drops of any essential oils you would like to use.
  5. Soak for 20-25 minutes relaxing your mind and body.
This makes a great gift!  Just add the oils (if you desire) and a gift tag with the instructions.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Tips: Dicing an Onion in 1 Minute

I learned to dice an onion from my mom when I was growing up; I'd hold the onion in my hand and vertically cut a star pattern into it, and then cut horizontally--all in my hand.  A bit dangerous?...  Yes, but onion juice is a great antibacterial  LOL  Fast forward to culinary school, and I learned how to dice an onion on a board without the danger of a knife-in-the-hand and more effectively.  As always, practice makes perfect (onion soup would be great practice)!

Step 1: Gather onion, cutting board, knife, and bowl for waste.

Step 2: Determine the root end; this will usually be dark with small 'hairs' coming out of it.

Step 3: Determine the top end; this will usually have stems coming out.

Step 4: Thinly cut the dark part off--this is what will keep the onion together so don't cut it all off!

Step 5: Cut off the stem end to make it even.

Step 6: Place onion, stem down, on the cutting board.   

Step 7:  Cut onion in half.  See the root at the top?

Step 8: Skin the onion and place the largest flat surface on the cutting board.

Step 9: For diced onions, make several horizontal cuts (depending on how small of a dice you require) or just make parallel, vertical cuts for onion slices.

Step 10:  Make perpendicular, vertical cuts into the onion being careful not the cut all the way to the root (root will hold onion together as you are dicing).

Step 11: Make vertical cuts parallel to the onion to get a small dice of onions.

Step 12:  Continue parallel cuts until onion is unstable; then flip onto the largest flat surface and continue dicing.  The root should be the only part of the onion left.

And there you have it!  Now go and practice!  Take your time and be careful since you are handling a knife!

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl

This recipe is a Mexican style theme of meat with beans on top of quinoa.  I have come to learn that a taco in Mexico is acutally seared beef with diced raw onion and cilantro--the best tacos I have EVER had!  This Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl recipe from The Shiksha reminded me of those tacos, but it has the addition of beans and quinoa (maybe some sour cream and cheese on my part).  Cilantro and lime juice HAS to be one of the greatest flavor combinations!  So clean and fresh!

{Topped with cilantro!}

I rarely get a craving for Mexican food, and when it I do, it's usually a quesadilla.  However, the next time I am craving tacos, I will be making this recipe!

{Sauting beef, cilantro and chili flakes}

{Adding beans and lime juice}

{Simmering down}

{Quinoa first in the bowl}

{Then the bean/beef mixture}

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl

Serves 2


1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound beef, cut into strips
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 cup lime juice
Choice of toppings
  1. In a pot, boil chicken broth; add quinoa and simmer for 20 minutes checking to make sure it doesn't dry out or burn.
  2. In a skillet heat oil; add onions, garlic and beef and cook through.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes or until liquid has thickened.
  4. Fluff quinoa with a fork; place in the bottom of two bowls.
  5. Top with beef mixture and choice of toppings including lettuce, cheese, sour cream, etc
 What is your favorite Mexican food?

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Food for Thought: Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

I've been struggling with some priority issues this week, so I am pretty sure I have missed some important aspects of my life.  For example, snuggling and playing with the cats daily so instead they do it while I am sleeping which means I don't sleep well.  Plus, I've neglected Ben all week (horrible wife!), but yesterday, we made plans to make pizza and go sledding today if the snow continues to build up (we already bought the boogie board!).  Plus, I have spent a ridiculous amount of time watching TV (I rarely watch more than 2 hours a week), and I have been bitten by the Pinterest bug and would spend hours on the site just looking and pinning.  BAD BAD BAD!!!

{Indian Rocks Beach in Florida}

I wanted to share my favorite story regarding priorities.  I enjoy it so much that I am considering hanging it in my house with some rocks, pebbles, and sand (maybe a shadow box?).

Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand

by Anonymous

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about 2 inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things—your family, your partner, your health, your children—anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed.”

“The pebbles,” he continued, “are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else: the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

After Ben and I talked yesterday over dinner, I felt much better and rather ridiculous that I have been giving so much priority to plans in the way future (like in March--I am such a planner...) that I missed what was happening now.  I have a terrible habit of planning things and then wanting to get them done NOW although I could wait a good amount of time before getting them done.  I believe that I have come up with a solution like writing ideas down in a planner and visiting them when I have down time, shutting down the TV and limiting myself to a few hours on Pinterest a week. 

How do you prioritize?  Do you do it once a week, once a day, once a month?  How do you stay on track?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Roasted Carrots with Garlic

Cold days and freezing nights just beg for you to use the oven to warm up the kitchen (and you!).  I saw this recipe in Whole Living Magazine, and I realized that I have never roasted carrots before so I promptly went to the kitchen and made them for dinner.  Roasting carrots really brings out their sweetness!

{Roasted carrots with garlic}

{Toss with olive oil and roast!}

Roasted Carrots with Garlic

Serves 4


1 pound medium carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
4-5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Arrange carrots and garlic on baking sheet; drizzle carrots with oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast 30-35 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  4. Drizzle lemon juice on carrots before serving; spread garlic onto the carrots
Roasting can be done to any vegetable or fruit and tends to bring out a sweetness that usually isn't tasted (vegetables) or intensifies and deepens the sweetness (fruit).  Do you regularly roast a particular fruit or vegetable?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Roasted Parsnips with Onions

I was curious about parsnips; I'd never really cooked or eaten one.  I thought "why not?"  I like them, but my husband--not so much.  I saw this recipe in the Whole Living magazine and looked easy enough so I put them on the grocery list for the next week. 

{Roasted and carmelized to delicious-ness!}

Parsnips look like albino carrots; they have a medium, rooty flavor that paired well with the rosemary.  I am beginning to have a healthy respect for this over-looked vegetable, but my husband is not taking to it like I am...  *sigh*  I have one more parsnip recipe to try on him (I get him to try something at least 3 different ways before I give up).

{Oiled and seasoned!}

Roasted Parsnips with Sweet Onions

Makes 2 servings


1 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 pound vidalias or other sweet onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. In a baking dish, combine parsnips, onoins, and rosemary.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and toss until coated; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until parnsips are tender.
With this recipe, you want some of the pieces to get carmelized because it gives it much more flavor.  Have you experimented with anything lately?  I'd love to hear it!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Tip: Peel Garlic in 5 Seconds (Literally)

Do you hate it when you are peeling garlic, and your hands get all smelly and sticky?  The papers come off in pieces and stick to your hands...  Just messy and a hassle!

I seriously love garlic.  When I learned how to properly peel it in school, the love affair only grew because it was so much faster and easier.  Woot!  Here are the steps to peel a clove of garlic in about 5 seconds (seriously!):

Step 1:  Gather garlic and a chef knife.

Step 2:  Place knife with blade facing AWAY from you over a clove of garlic.

Step 3:  Place your heel on the blade and press down until clove is smashed.

{Smashed garlic clove}

Step 4:  With one hand, slide the paper off the garlic clove by maneuvering it on the cutting board.

{Garlic is ready to do what you want with it!}

It's that easy!    

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Pumpkin and White Bean Stew

Like many people, I reserve pumpkin for fall and winter, and it's generally in sweets.  I was going through my Whole Living magazine when I saw this pumpkin stew recipe.  I made many changes because I wanted to use canned pumpkin which is pretty cheap right now.  Let's just say that this stew is fabulous and full of fiber!

{Yummy savory pumpkin stew}

I know what you are thinking--pumpkin in a stew?!  Are you crazy?!  Besides the fact that I am crazy (just a bit), that's what I want to do--expand your horizons and introduce new foods to you!  That's my mission (see top paragraph under Girl Eats World ;o)  )!  Trust me--this is worth it!

{Cooking spices}

{Adding remaining ingredients}

{Simmering and adding the frozen fresh cilantro}

Pumpkin and White Bean Stew

Makes 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound pork, cubed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can white beans (navy, pinto, cannellini)
3 cups chicken broth
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (2 tablespoons dried)
  1. Heat oil in a pot; add onions and garlic cooking until clear.
  2. Add pork and cook through; add spices and cook until fragrant (about 3 minutes).
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except fresh cilantro, and simmer stew for 40 minutes.
  4. Add fresh cilantro 5 minutes before stew is served.
Are you intrigued?  I dare you to try this!

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Food for Thought: Global Health

I listen to NPR on my way to and from work to get national and local news, and I heard an article regarding the fact that the US ranks below 16 other rich countries concerning health.  I was quite shocked at the report to say the least!

The most shocking was that Americans tend to consume about 4000 calories a day!  WHAT?!  That's twice the recommended calorie intake for an adult!  Plus, most Americans don't get enough movement in their day which I was just as guilty as everyone else although now I am working out 5 days a week for 30 minutes (alternating yoga and cardio). 

I guess many people are ignorant to the fact that if they put junk in their bodies, they will get health problems that are awful, painful, and expensive.  Let's start to take care of our bodies!  It's the only one that we will get, and we have to grow old in it!  Get that sleep we need, the exercise our bodies are meant to do, and feed ourself the nourishing foods so we work at optimal levels!   Personally, I ate well enough but didn't exercise.  When I started last month, I forgot how fantastic I feel when I exercise--my body is warmer (faster metabolism); I sleep better; I eat better; I feel more productive and energetic--just SO. MUCH. BETTER!!!!

What do you think of this report?  Did it shock you?

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chana Masala

With the new year, I've been trying to incorporate more 'exotic' spices into our foods because they are incredibly good for you!  (More on that later!)  I saw this recipe on smitten kitchen and knew I had to try it with deer!  So delicious, and Ben even loved it!  (As in asked for seconds AND ate the leftovers!)  Plus, it's a one pot, easy meal, and you can't get better than that!

{Although originally vegetarian, add beef, chicken, pork or deer if you like}

{Toasting cumin seeds}

{Browning meat}

{Total spice weight for this dish--1/8 of a cup!}

{Adding spices}

{Slightly toasting spices}

{Simmer for 1 hour adding more liquid as needed}

Chana Masala

Serves 6


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (more if you like heat)
1 pound beef, chicken, pork or deer, diced (optional)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
2-15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add cumin seeds, onions, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes; cook until fragrant.
  3. Add meat; cook through.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 1 hour or until peas are soft adding more broth as necessary.
Helpful hint: head to a local health food store to get only the spices you need for this recipe if you don't use them typically; this will save you money and storage space.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How-To: Work with Hot Peppers

My first tip is regarding working with fresh, hot peppers.  If you've worked with fresh peppers before, you know that if you work bare-handed and touch your eyes, or other sensitive body parts, it burns like nothing else!

The part of the pepper with the capsaicin (oil that burns/creates heat) is in the seeds and the 'placenta' (membrane which holds the seeds in place).  If you are working with a hot pepper in a recipe and don't want much heat, then use less seeds.  Typically, the smaller the pepper, the hotter it is.

Tips for working with fresh, hot peppers:
  1. ALWAYS wear gloves--from handling to washing the knife and board you used to cut them up.
  2. Do not touch any part of your body with the gloves--sneeze/cough into your elbow, remove hair with a shoulder, or itch against a counter.
  3. Remove the gloves without touching your skin.
  4. If you happen to touch your skin with the pepper oil, immediately rinse with whole milk, cream, sour cream, or rub butter on it.  The fat surrounds the oil and gets it off the skin; then you wash the affected area with a degreaser like Dawn.
How do I know this? culinary school, I had the misfortune to rub my eyes after working with hot peppers barehanded AND washing my hands (yes, there was still oil on them!).  It burned like nothing I've ever felt, and the Chef grabbed heavy cream and splashed it in my eyes.  Relief was instantaneous!  NEVER will I do that again!

Have you had that same experience?  Bet you will never do it again!

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Trying to start out 2013 on a healthy note?  Aren't we all!  Thankfully, this roasted cauliflower salad is heart-healthy, easy to make, AND delicious.  The recipe is based on this version by The Shiksa; I personally thought it was too salty with the full amount of olives and capers, so I scaled it back.

{LOVE the roasted cauliflower in this salad!}

I definitely see myself experimenting with this a bit more--maybe next time add sun-dried tomatoes and basil or add feta too.  Either way--it's definitely a great base to start!

{Ready to roast!}

{Mixing the dressing--I forgot to get parsley so it was added later}

{That is the carmelization that you want for this salad!}

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Makes 4 servings


1 large head of cauliflower, diced into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon capers
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teapsoon chili flakes
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (2 tablespoons dried)
1/2 cup olives, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Place cauliflower and garlic in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil.
  3. Spread cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes or until one side is a dark-golden brown.
  5. While cauliflower is roasted, mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
  6. When cauliflower has cooled add it to the dressing mix.
  7. Serve salad at room temperature.
What kind of healthy salads do you like to make to stay on track of your diet?

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Food for Thought: Break It Down

So how are your New Year's goals going?  Mine are doing fine; I am human and have some challenges, but I'll get through them.  I got to thinking about goals and how to make them more manageable, and I decided to share my weight-loss story because it demostrates how to make large, seemingly impossible goals manageable!

Everyone goes so strongly at the beginning of January to reach that goal of "losing 20 pounds", but by the end, they burn out.  It's happened to me many, many times until I realized that, like the saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day".  I have yo-yo dieted for YEARS...  Last year around this time, I (and my doctor) got fed up with myself.  I realized that weight-loss is not something you can do for a few months; it's a COMPLETE lifestyle change.

I changed my goal from lose 20 pounds to being healthy.  Concentrating on feeling and looking my best by doing little things each month to improve my health rather than a number will make this process much more enjoyable.  That's how I lost 40 pounds, and I have kept most of it off!  I will NEVER be a size 2; in fact, a size 8 is pretty much out of the question too.  The smallest size I have been is a 12, and I have come to accept that.

The story of my weight-loss is peppered in with my suggestions to help you in your goal to be healthy in 2013!  As always, please consult a physician before engaging in any exercise or diet!

January-GRADUALLY reduce soda/juice/sport drinks/high calorie coffee drink intake and increase water intake.  If you drink lots of soda et al don't quit cold turkey; that just causes stress, and stress will cause you to go right back to it.  For instance, if you drink 4 cans a day then cut it down week by week to one replacing the lost can with water instead; that'll cut at least 5 pounds right there if you drink it on a daily basis (I know someone that lost 20 pounds just doing this!).

February-concentrate on your eating habits.  When you are eating, cut the distractions: phone, TV, computer, etc.  Think about what you are putting in your mouth!  Keeping a journal will help track what you eat and when.  Also, are you eating when bored or stressed even when you're not hungry?  (I am VERY guilty of this but getting better!)  You'd be surprised how much you do!  Instead, concentrate on doing other activities like going for a walk, drinking water, playing with pets, etc.

March-concentrate on portion sizes. Know your portion sizes by looking at the nutrition info and only eating one serving--you'll be surprised by how much you are overeating!

April-reduce 'junk' food intake.  Concentrate on what you are eating, and substituting healthy snacks like fruit, small salad, granola bars, nuts, and dried fruits (pay attention to serving sizes because too much can be just as bad as the junk food!).  Click here for more information regarding proper nutrition.

May-add exercise to your daily life (consult with a doctor).  You don't have to go to the gym for 2 hours a day to see benefits; just walking around your neighborhood for 30 minutes a day is beneficial.  You can increase your walking time over the course of the year.  Make it a competition!  Time yourself and aim to do better daily!  If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up.  Tomorrow is a new day!  Make your workout something you can FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  The reason I say this?  You wanted to change for a reason--why would you work sooooo hard to lose weight to just go back to your workout (if you did one) before you changed?  Exactly!  I like to dance, do yoga, and "Shred It" with Jillian Michaels.

June-find a diet you can live with FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (consult with a doctor).  The same reason as stated for exercising.  Let me tell you from experience--denying yourself is not a diet.  I eat butter, whole milk, chocolate, etc because I adhere to a small portion size.  If I have a craving for random things like a McDonald's cheeseburger or Arby's french fries, I grab my husband or a friend to get a small, and then we split it.  I concentrate on what I am eating so after 2-3 bites, my craving is satisfied.  If you deny yourself, you typically eat until you find a substitute or you get your craving food.  My diet?  Lots of fruits and veggies, lean meat, almost no dairy, whole grains (barley, quinoa, rice, etc), legumes, red wine (up to 6 oz daily) and dark chocolate (up to 1 oz a day).

July-reduce stress.  This is different for everyone, but it is important to know about yourself.  If I am stressed, I like to drive to a national park and hike, take a hot, aromatherapy bath, or play with my kitties.  Try to avoid 'escaping' into Facebook, YouTube, TV, or other media outlets.

August-make time for yourself.  No it's not crazy.  If you like to read, make the time.  If you like to golf, make the time.  It will allow you to decompress and enjoy the things you love!

September-get more sleep.  Everyone has a optimal amount of sleep they need to feel their best.  Mine is about 8 hours, and I aim to get that much daily.  However, life doesn't allow you to do that sometimes, and that is okay.  Also, try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time so Monday isn't so hard for you!

October-experiment with new foods.  Never had a parsnip before?  Find some recipes and make it!  I am having a blast doing this!  It helps to add variety to your diet.

November and December-remember your portion sizes and to continue exercising through the holidays!

That's my story/advice!  What is your weight-loss story?  Do you have any advice?  I'd love to hear it!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Sauce

I have been on a serious cilantro kick...  I love the fresh, clean taste of it; plus, it is very versatile.  When smitten kitchen put up a cold rice noodles with peanut-lime sauce recipe, it sounded delicious!  I made several adjustments because, frankly, the original was a bit too much work so I shortened it and made it 'hot' instead.  My version is DELICIOUS!

{So yummy!}

My version is hot (temperature wise); it has the perfect balance of sweetness and spice.  Rice noodles are very easy to make--boil water, put them in, and let them cook for about 2 minutes.  Fastest. Noodles.  EVER!

{Hubby hates soy sauce so I used ponzu which is a citrus flavored soy sauce.  It tastes much less salty than original soy sauce}

{Fresh ginger is great--peeling and grating it is not.  So I used the shortcut, and it tastes just as good}

{Yummy sauce!  I might have poured out a small bowl and eaten just the sauce....}

{Searing the chicken}

{Add vegetables}

{Add sauce when vegetables are almost tender}

{Rice noodles available at any Asian store or in the Asian section}

{Fast and easy--my favorite words}

Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Sauce

Serves 2


1 cup ponzu
1/2 cup lime juice
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, minced
6 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
3 tablespoons seasme seed oil, divided
1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 pound vegetables of your choice
4 oz dried rice noodles
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup crushed peanuts, roasted (optional)
  1. Mix first 8 ingredients to make sauce (only 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil).
  2. Heat remaining seasame seed oil in skillet unitl hot; add chicken and sear until done.
  3. Add vegetables and cover; allow to steam until vegetables are almost tender.
  4. Add sauce to vegetables; simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.
  5. Meanwhile, heat water in a saucepan for noodles; when water is boiling add noodles and turn off.
  6. Cook noodles for about 2 minutes or until tender.
  7. Place noodles in the bottom of a bowl; top with vegetable mixture, cilantro and peanuts.
Much easier isn't it?  What do you think about the cilantro in this dish?  Excellent to keep the palate light and to cut the peanut butter!
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