Duck Duck Couscous 

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Couscous has always been a mystery to me.  I’ve read it on menus and have heard friends and family talking about having it here and there, but up until tonight I don’t think I’ve ever had it.  Quinoa…yep, I eat it weekly, if not daily!  Couscous… never.  Until tonight.

Tonight I followed a Hello Fresh recipe called the Crispy Chickpea Bowl (PS…you can download the app and get all the recipes even if you don’t get the actual Hello Fresh meals!). It was so darn good!! While it does tell you the exact measurements for the ingredients, if you know me, I don’t measure.  I like to guesstimate, and it worked amazingly for this recipe.  Here’s the outcome:


I took the pic right before I was about to eat it, so no “staging” took place.  I’m not kidding when I say this was delicious!  It’s also pretty filling.  I’ll definitely be adding this to my recipe book!  

Ingredients 

  1. 1 zucchini-cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  2. 6-8 oz heirloom tomatoes, halved
  3. Thyme
  4. 2 units of scallions, sliced (keep only the white parts)
  5. 3/4 cup couscous 
  6. Smoked paprika
  7. Can of chickpeas, drained
  8. Feta cheese
  9. 1 cup veggie stock
  10. Lemon juice
  11. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  12. 1 the butter
  13. Olive oil
  14. Salt and pepper 


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Wash and cut/dice all veggies and fruit
  3. On baking sheet, toss tomatoes, zucchini and some thyme in olive oil, season with salt and pepper
  4. Roast for about 15 mins
  5. Toss chickpeas in olive oil and smoked paprika, bake about 15 mins
  6. In sauce pan, melt butter and sauté garlic and scallions for about 3 mins, add couscous and thyme and stir till crispy
  7. Season with salt and pepper
  8. Add veggie stock and 1 cup water and bring to a boil
  9. Reduce heat, summer about 10 mins 
  10. Add half the veggies and some feta to sauce pan and stir
  11. Plate couscous mixture, top with more veggies, chickpeas and some more feta
  12. Devour!

Let me know how you like it!
-Xoxo

Orgasmic…Nuff Said

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Last night’s dinner was ah-maaaaazing! It was a cross between seafood-less paella and chicken skillet.  I kid you not, I just cut my eyes to the refrigerator, contemplating if I want the leftovers for breakfast or if I can hold off for lunch! 


While the pictures don’t do it justice (professional food photographer I am not!), I promise you won’t be disappointed if you give this one a try! 


Ingredients

  • 1 large carrot (I used two small)- peeled and diced to your liking 
  • 1 green squash- diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion diced (I have a sick obsession with red onions and used the whole thing!)
  • Zest one lemon then cut the lemon into wedges to serve with meal
  • 1/2-1 cup quinoa 
  • 1 avacado
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots 
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Chicken breasts- I used 5 so there’d be leftovers to throw in salads 


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. In oven safe skillet/pan cook carrots and squash till tender (I cook with avacado oil) 
  3. When done transfer to plate or bowl
  4. Add onions and cook till tender
  5. Add apricots, quinoa and lemon zest to onions and stir to mix throughout
  6. Add carrots, squash chicken stock and 1 cup water (I panicked thinking this was too much water so I needed up adding about 3/4 cup rice)
  7. Bring to a boil 
  8. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and bake in oven till no longer pink inside
  9. Cover with lid and put in oven for about 12-15 minutes (I have the chicken and paella cooking together)
  10. Once done, dish paella onto plate, top with chicken and garnish with avacado and lemon wedges


So excited to hear how you like this one or if you tweaked it at all!  

Enjoy!

Xoxo

Trick-or-Nonfood- Treat

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Once Halloween is over I always feel a moment, or few days, of panic because at the snap of the fingers it’s November, which means Thanksgiving is a few weeks away.  This means CHRISTMAS is just around the corner!  

I’ll pump the breaks on that for now, and continue with my Teal Pumpkin Project update.  While my pumpkin looked like a hot mess, the kids loved my nonfood treats.  I wasn’t sure how many trick-or-treaters with food allergies would show up at my door, so I grabbed bubbles, funky sunglasses and neon colored fangs for about 30 people.  While I’m sure 30 people with food allergies didn’t show up, all my goodies disappeared.  Turns out not only did a lot of kids want my nonfood goodies over the candy, but my husband is a sucker and let kids without allergies take the goodies for kids with allergies!  Lucky for us no one showed up once the last pair of sunglasses got scooped up!  


I felt so good hearing people say what a good idea it was to do this.  I shared my inspiration (Jess’s son that is), and told them how the kit was for a fundraiser.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few more teal pumpkins in my neighborhood next year!


PS… my little man made his Halloween debut as a shark…the cutest little shark I’ve ever seen!  Thank goodness for Pottery Barn Kids!  (The costume was like $12 at the outlet!)

Xoxo

Power “Workout” Hour

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The day John turned six months I signed him up for the Kid Zone at my gym.  I get a one hour slot on Tuesdays and Thursday’s until he turns one.  They asked me if I wanted to sign up for the week… I asked them to put me down for every Tuesday and Thursday till April 18th!  They looked at me like I was crazy, but they did it.  So now not only does he get a little socialization, but I get an hour to myself and it’s working out (I joked that I might secretly be taking a nap in my car and the employee said she’s had moms do that before! ). Today wrapped up week two and along with the Bye Bye Belly classes I take on Tuesdays and Saturdays, I’m starting to feel like my old self, but stronger. 


I have been starting my workout with a 20 minute/2 mile jog (whichever comes first), followed up by a quick 40 minute lifting and ab workout.  Here’s what today looked like:

2 mile jog

Then repeat this circuit twice: 

  • 15 “girl” push-ups
  • 1 minute plank
  • 25 standing lunges with 10 lb weights
  • 25 V Ups (lay on your back and bring your toes at hands together)
  • 25 side plank touches (touch your side down to the floor)
  • 25 in and out squat jumps
  • 25 fire hydrants each side
  • 25 Z ups (lay on your back and sit up and touch your toes)
  • 25 glute extensions each side 

I ended it with…THE ROPES!  I pumped them up and down 100 times.  I would shoot for more but I ran out of time… and my arms felt like jello!

Cheers to getting back in shape!

Xoxo

Teal is the new Orange

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Since becoming a mom, food and poop have become a strange obsession of mine. I constantly have to watch what I eat so my son doesn’t struggle with his digestive issues and produce ridiculously weird poops. Lucky for me he seems to be growing out of his dairy intolerance, and I’m starting to chill out on the non dairy diet (might I add this is just in time for Halloween candy season!!). I am so relieved that, as of now, it looks like John won’t have a life long allergy to dairy! Unfortunately that isn’t the case for my good friend Jess. While her son isn’t allergic to dairy, they did find out the hard way that he has a nut allergy!

In April, he turned one, which as all mom’s know, that age milestone starts the testing of all the high risk allergy foods…like peanut butter. They gave it a shot and sure enough, the sweetheart didn’t just break out in a rash, he went into anaphylaxis shock! To make a long story short, Jess is now on a mission to help bring food allergies to everyone’s attention, with the hope of finding a cure. She started her mission off by selling Teal Pumpkin Kits. For those of you who don’t know, like myself, the teal pumpkin lets Trick-or-Treaters know there are non food treats at the house. I never really thought about those who can’t have candy, however, after hearing about Jess’s son, and with my own son having a food issue, I quickly decided to join her mission. I went ahead a purchased one of her kits, and went out and bought some non food treats for my peeps with food allergies. Here’s what came in her kit:


and here is my final product:


Please don’t mind the missing paint. I accidentally kicked it lugging groceries, my dog and my son into the house!!

I’d love to hear if you have painted any pumpkins teal to show your support of food allergies, or if you give out any non food treats on Halloween? I need some more ideas!!

xoxo

Holy Squats Batman!

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People… I am SORE! Since my Bye Bye Belly Class at Z Fitness ended about three weeks ago, I’ve only done a “real” workout like three times! Pathetic, I know! So, Sunday my husband and son decided to have some guy time (which really means dad walks around the house carrying the baby till I get home), while I hit up the gym. The guilt was strong, so I went hard. Like really hard! wrong move, because its Tuesday and i can barely swuat to pee!

Here’s what I did:

1 mile warm up jog (sadly I wanted to call it quits after this… but I sucked it up and kept going!)

Then I did the following 3 times:

20 Tricep Pushdowns @ 27 lb
20 cable Curls @22 lbs
25 squat press with 8 lb dumbells
20 tricep extensions with 8 lb dumbells
30 V Ups
30 3-point touch sit ups
25 squat jumps

I’m telling you this workout is awesome! I felt great after and even though I’m sore today, it’s that good “I know I worked hard” sore. with that said, the bext 20 session class starts next week!

Simple Sausage Soup

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Alright people…get ready for the easiest soup recipe ever (or at least the easiest soup recipe I’ve tried)! I was in the “meat” section… Quotes are necessary because my meat section is really the “lite” or “diet”!section of the meats… you know… the ground turkey orchicken sausage   section.  Anyway, the soup was simple, tasteful and easy to add on to if you want to get a little more fancy with it!  

Here’s what I did:

  • Take a package of turkey sausage links and remove the casings 
  • Pinch 1 inch pieces off and form them into little… balls (insert immature giggles here)

  • In a soup pot coated with olive oil, cook the BALLS so that they are brown on all sides
  • Add one green bell pepper that you diced or chopped and cook another 3 minutes 
  • Add one carton of chicken or veggie stock, along with one can of white beans
  • Bring to a boil 
  • After  few minutes of boiling add about a cup or two of kale and cook till wilted
  • Dish out into bowls, add a splash of red pepper flakes and enjoy!

Let me know what you think!!

Xoxo

Pasta All Day, Erryday

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I am a firm believer that if I was told that I could only eat pasta for the rest of my life, I’d be completely fine.  I LOVE pasta. I actually had the leftovers from the dinner I made last night, for breakfast today.  Weird?  I think not!

I must say I’ve been on a roll with this whole cooking thing!  My husband may never want me to go back to work (sidenote: I’m on maternity leave… just not sure for how long!).  Last night I made an asparagus and mushroom carbonara, which I’ve recently learned is an Italian pasta dish made with egg, cheese and bacon.  I told you… I’m apparently turning into a chef!

Anyway, it was delicious and on my “Must Make Again ASAP!” list. 

Here’s what went into it:

  • 1lb asparagus cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 carton mushrooms (you can get as fancy as you want with them…I went with easy and fast!)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced 
  • 8 ounces bacon (I used a package of pancetta)  
  • 2 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb fettuccine 
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese 

Here’s how to make it:

  • Place asparagus and mushrooms on baking sheet (put tinfoil on first to help make cleaning up easier) and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes
  • In the meantime, cook pancetta or bacon
  • Drain and add garlic for about a minute, then turn off heat
  • With about 10 minutes left in cooking the asparagus, cook the fettuccine according to package 
  • Drain pasta but save about a cup of the pasta water
  • In a small bowl mix eggs, salt, pepper and cheese 
  • Add egg mix, asparagus, mushrooms, and pasta to pancetta and garlic and mix (add pasta water if necessary) 
  • Dish out  into bowls and top with more cheese and parsley if desired

Here’s the only picture I took of the final product… I’m not complaining!!  

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

Xoxo

No Soup For You!

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I can’t stress how much I looooove fall. I love everything about it!  Pumpkin spice “errrything”, sweaters, football and easy soup recipes!  Yes, there actually are easy soup recipes, and even better… healthy soup recipes.  Last night I made a somewhat healthy tortellini soup that was not only delish, but super easy to make!  


Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 carrots diced (I used 3)
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced or diced (I used a garlic press)
  • Olive oil
  • A carton of either veggie or chicken stock (I used chicken stock and feel that it really needs an extra cup of the stock)
  • Tortellini (I used fresh not frozen, but frozen works!)
  • Handful or two of spinach 
  • Cheese of your choice to top it off

Here’s what to do:

  • Heat up a few splashes of olive oil in a large soup pot
  • Add the celery, onion and carrots and sauté for about 7 minutes
  • Add garlic and sauté some more (about 3ish minutes)
  • Add stock and bring to a boil… Then lower to a simmer and sim (that’s the technical term) for about 30 minutes 
  • Add tortellini and cook according to package
  • With a minute or two left, add spinach
  • Dish out into bowls, sprinkle with cheese and enjoy!

Let me know what you think!

Xoxo

DROOLING

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I’m not kidding when I tell you I literally drooled while eating and refilling and eating and refilling my bowl tonight.  I made a Mexican Buffalo Chicken Bowl and holy hell it was Ah-Maze-Ing!  I probably make some sort of Mexican/Spanish dinner every week, but this one… this one was award winning!  Ok, I really hope you feel the same way because if not, I should probably stop attempting to make, well, everything!  

So, while I’m still feeling like the next Top Chef, here is my masterpiece: 


Here’s a closer look at my mouthwatering amazingness:


Have I mentioned how delicious this was?

What I did was…

Doused (I’ve kinda always wanted to use that word but never had a chance to…) 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts in Frank’s Hot Sauce and baked it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. 

While the chicken was baking I put together a can of corn, a can of black beans, a pint of cherry tomatoes (halved if you’re feeling up to it), and 3 avacados diced and sliced.   

Once the chicken was done I shredded it to the best of my ability.  I dished out the corn/black bean mix into two bowls (there’s enough for like 4 bowls) and then added some chicken to the top.  Feel free to add whatever dressing you like… I personally ate it as is.  

There is so much you can do with this recipe…add tostado chips, different seasoning, shrimp… but this was the simplest “I don’t wanna cook shit but I gotta” version and I loved it!  I hope you do too! 

Xoxo