Eat Your Greens.

photo 1(1)

asparagus mixture

photo 3

I made this last night for dinner. Green beans, asparagus, and mushrooms over quinoa.

What you’ll need:

  • sliced mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • fresh green beans (I prefer fresh over canned)
  • fresh minced garlic
  • salt/pepper
  • garlic powder
  • chili flakes (optional)
  • quinoa
  • vegetable broth
  • white onion
  • olive oil

Start by trimming the green beans. Fill a large pot with water and when the water has reached a boil- put green beans in. If you have ever cooked green beans before you know that they take a while to cook. Boil only for a couple minutes, strain and leave in strainer while putting ice cubes over to stop the beans from cooking. This process is called blanching. In a separate pan, use oil of choice (I use extra virgin olive oil), fresh minced garlic and chopped white onion on a med heat. When the onions and garlic look like they are cooked add about a cup or less of veggie broth- and then add the asparagus, mushrooms, green beans along with salt, pepper, chili flakes and garlic powder. Let simmer on low heat until finished. The veggies won’t take long to cook- I prefer my asparagus with a little crunch.

In a separate pot cook the quinoa. It’s the same as rice, for every cup of quinoa two cups of water, veggie or chicken broth. I used veggie broth to add a little more flavor. Boil water, pour in quinoa and then reduce heat to simmer.

This recipe is easy and you can easily add chicken to it if you would like more protein! Let me know how it turns out.

 

Meet TellSpec.

maxresdefault

I just heard about this incredible product. Have you heard of TellSpec?? This is a device that allows you to scan your food and be able to get nutritional value as well as telling you what ingredients, chemicals and pesticides are in your food.

Many foods contain chemicals and allergens that we want to avoid, but it can be difficult to know whether these chemicals and allergens are in your food or not. Food companies are NOT required to label your food. Transfats, GMO’s and other preservatives are in many items we consume every day. How can you tell if your food contains the nutrients you need? What about things like sodium, gluten or trans fats that you might be trying to avoid? Food labels can give us some information if they’re available, but they are not always intelligible and some ingredients may not even be reported.

The TellSpec handheld device beams a low-powered laser at the food you wish to analyze, measures the reflected light with a spectrometer, and sends the data via your smart phone, computer, or tablet to TellSpec’s servers in the cloud. Those servers use this data to deduce information about your food that is of interest to you. This information is then displayed on your computer, tablet or smart phone so you can intelligently decide if you want to buy or eat the food.

I can’t wait until this is available to the public. I believe using technology to aid in the better knowledge of the food people consume is a brilliant idea. The future of health is in our hands, literally!

Lentil + Barley Soup.

IMG_3340

IMG_3342

IMG_3344

IMG_3354

IMG_3353

IMG_3350

IMG_3357

IMG_3356

This was my first time cooking with barley and needless to say it was delicious! I found this recipe and I altered it a little- the recipe called for a crock pot and simply put, I am impatient.

Lentil Vegetable and Barley Soup

  • 1/2 large onion or one small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium summer squash (or zucchini), halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1 C carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C red lentils
  • 1/2 C yellow split peas
  • 1/2 C barley
  • celaery (diced)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 C vegetable broth (or chicken or beef), plus ~2 C extra water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • fresh or dried basil to top (optional)

I opted out for the split peas and instead of vegetable broth I used the water that I used to boil the lentil beans in. Start by dicing up your carrots, onion and celery. Meanwhile, in a pot boil 1/2 cup of lentil beans. In a separate pot, boil 1/2 cup barley. Even though it seems like it’s not a lot- the both expand and should be enough for about 4 people. When the veggies are done cooking on med-high heat add can of diced tomato. When the beans are done cooking (they will split if overcooked) drain water. I added the bean water as a veggie broth instead of store bought. I added salt, pepper, dried oregano, 2 bay leaves and let simmer. The barley took over an hour to cook so be patient. When the barley is done cooking- add to soup. Let the soup simmer and allow all the flavors to combine. After the soup is done I added some lemon for extra flavor. This recipe is fairly easy but if cooking raw beans it might take a while so allow time for those to cook! Hope you enjoy!

You can find the original recipe here.

Ricotta Pancake Bliss.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo(1)

Hey friends…Happy Tuesday! I feel like the weekend always flies by…oh wait! IT DOES! I had a great weekend combined with both work and a little bit of play time. Although it was a three day weekend for many- in the restaurant business that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a vacation for you (I mean me)! I worked both nights (on the hustle for NYC) but found a couple of hours Sat + Sunday to soak up the sun and enjoy the weekend. Saturday I grabbed coffee at Barefoot Coffee Roasting Company in Campbell. This place has been my hangout as of late. It’s a smaller shop, non corporate and I am all for supporting local businesses that are of quality! When I find time to blog, this is my spot. Sunday I brunched it with a girlfriend at The Table in Willow Glen. This place is one of a kind and reminds me of a restaurant you would more than likely find in San Francisco or NYC. It’s small, the decor is modern and the drinks are beyond fab. We sat at the bar (I prefer) and enjoyed the best Ricotta Pancakes I have ever had. They were filled with a fresh lemon flavor and every bite melted in your mouth. Can we say A-MA-ZING! I am happy to report that I have been working out and eating fab food all week. The pancake might not have helped my Mexico Physique but needless to say the hard work every day allows for a little treat here and there.  I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend….despite that niner loss and have a great four days ahead. Positive thoughts!

Friday Love.

www.pinterest.com 80db8142e00116e6f9c6da5795f43743

It’s Friday my friends! This week seemed like it flew by faster than usual possibly because the sun was shining a bright 80 degrees?? Unreal.  I feel accomplished, healthy and grateful that the weekend is here. My workouts were on point (I’m feeling pretty sore) as I am trying to get back on track from taking some time off. You never realize how in shape you are until you don’t work out for a while. Never again am I letting this happen.  I took some time off for the month of December because I was in charge of opening a new restaurant in Los Gatos. Man, I am not sure how I survived the long days and not being able to workout. Being continuously busy from when you rise to when you go to sleep is not the business and I am glad to have a couple more hours out of my day that I can spend as “me time.” In a few weeks I will be jet setting to Phili + NYC for a best friends birthday. She will be turning 29…..crazy! Who said getting older can come so fast! It will be 4 of us reuniting and I couldn’t be more excited. Good friends, girl talk, catching up, lots of wine and making new adventures….does life get any better!? I am wishing all of you a happy weekend!

Athleta + Gap Fit Nail it!

Gap Fit Nails it!
Ladies and gentlemen! Let me introduce to you GAP FIT. I know, I know it’s not new to the rest of the world but it’s new to me. I am an avid GAP shopper when it comes to my everyday wear because most of the time the pieces they make will last years. When it comes to workout gear on the other hand, I am not one to branch out and try new brands. The problem with my body is that my legs are skinny, my boobs are big and my waste fits somewhere in between – so when it comes to shopping for athletic wear it’s either too big or barely fits in some areas. Not only is this discouraging but it has prevented me from really giving other brands  a try. Needless to say, I stumbled upon Gap Fit over Christmas while shopping for family and decided I would give it a try. The material they use is similar to that of Lululemon which I am familiar with. I bought a few shirts like the one on the top right (pictured above) and decided to give the crops a try as well. What do you know, they were both great! The prices are reasonable and you are walking away with a great product. Thank you Gap for nailing it once again.
If buying new clothes will get you to the gym then you better get shopping! It’s the second week in January….how are you doing with your healthy makeover?

Veggies w/ Spicy Marinara

IMG_3311IMG_3316

photo

IMG_3323

Last night I ended up getting home pretty late (9-ish) after a long day of work, working out and then hitting Whole Foods for the week. The problem with me is that on my nights that I have off I LOVE to cook! Sometimes I intend on making something quick- and then and hour and a half later I have my meal. It probably doesn’t help that I am snapping 99 pictures along the way, but needless to say I enjoy the time it takes to prepare my food. I consider it relaxation time.

I whipped together this veggie medley and it was nothing short of just what I wanted. Not to heavy, but still filling enough after a hearty workout.

{Ingredients}

  • broccoli
  • cherry tomato (cut in half)
  • fresh minced garlic
  • mushroom
  • crushed tomato (canned- I use DiNapoli brand)
  • fresh parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili flakes

For the veggies it was easy, I browned the garlic (don’t burn) with olive oil. Shortly after added the broccoli and let cook. Add salt, pepper to taste. When the broccoli seems to be halfway done add the cherry tomatoes. After the tomatoes start to get soft then add the mushroom.  Mushrooms are always last because they cook fast and I personally don’t like overcooked veggies.

For the marinara. I also used a little olive oil with fresh minced garlic on med heat. After the garlic is brown I added a can of crushed tomatoes, fresh parsley along with salt, pepper and chili flakes. As soon as the sauce reaches a slight boil turn temperature down and simmer.  Instead of pasta with marinara – veggies with red sauce is always a great substitute to leave you feeling less bloated. Think of simple as being better. If healthy is the theme of your January then add this one to your list. You won’t be disappointed.

Yup, It’s Friday!

weekends

 

Yeahhhhh….it’t Friday! I am beginning to look forward to the weekends more and more these days. When you are so busy with events, work and trying to find a social life in between nothing sounds better than a litter R&R! The weather here in California has been nothing short of amazing although not so good for the environment. I think we have 70′s on the forecast for this weekend which is a little strange for January, but hey, I am not complaining! Anyway, I’ll be relaxing as well as cooking up a storm, visiting my local farmers market and getting a few workouts in. What are you up to??

Veggie Enchiladas

Veggies

Mix in Bowl

IMG_3269

IMG_3277

IMG_3282

IMG_3299

I made these vegetarian enchiladas the other night and they were AMAZING! Often times when you try and recreate something vegetarian it turns out to be a bigger hit than the original.  Dinner time for me is full of excitement. I LOVE going to the grocery store and figuring out what it is that I am going to make. I know this can be dreadful for many, and usually I would recommend planning ahead, but when your schedule is busy it can be hard, I get it.  I decided on these after scouting recipes on the internet. Sometimes you might catch a recipe but it is full of too many things (I see this all the time).  If this is ever the case- you can tweak it a little bit and use what works for you.  I used a couple different vegetables and the were still amaze.  If you have a chance- make these! 

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 med red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 med sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 container button mushrooms, halved or quartered (don’t cut too small they will shrivel)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 8 tortillas (flour or corn- your choice)
  • 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce  (I prefer green sauce)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Mexican shredded cheese (I used cojita as well for a sprinkle)
  • optional garnishes: fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream

Directions

Prehead the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, toss together the yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, sweet potato, red pepper, mushroom and olive oil until evenly mixed. Season generously with salt and black pepper. I also added organic taco seasoning to the mix.  Spread the mixture out evenly onto the covered baking sheet. (Vegetables should be mostly in a single layer. If you’re baking sheet is small you may need to spread these out over two baking sheets.)

Bake for 30 min, or until the edges of the vegetables begin to crisp and they are tender.  Remove and set aside to cool. After the veggies were cool, I added tofu and black beans to the mix. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare your enchilada assembly line. Lay a tortilla on a flat work surface, then spread the top of it with a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce.  Sprinkle down the center with veggies and cheese (optional). Roll the tortilla up to close, then place it seam-side-down in a greased baking dish.  Repeat with remaining ingredients. Then spread any remaining enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas in the dish.

Bake at 325 for 20 min. Then remove the dish and sprinkle extra cheese on top (optional/I used cojita). Bake for 5-10 more inures until cheese has melted and the tortillas begin to brown slightly around the edges. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, garnish if desired.

This recipe based off of this one.

Winter Favorites

Winter Favorites
Happy Wednesday friends! I am killing time in between getting a new passport that my little fur babe chewed up.  I have an upcoming trip to Mexico and won’t be traveling far without it! In the meantime, here are some of my winter favorites. I love nothing more than bundling up with infinity scarves, boots and a cute sweater. I am usually more casual than I am dressed up so winter is a perfect excuse to still dress cute and but be comfortable at the same time. What are some of your favorite winter must have items???

Madewell vest
madewell.com

J Brand jeans
$515 - houseoffraser.co.uk

J Brand jeans
stylebop.com

Nine West slip on shoes
lordandtaylor.com

Yeswalker short boots
yesstyle.com

Black purse
vestiairecollective.com

H M brown purse
$25 - hm.com

Loop scarf
modcloth.com

H M infinity scarf
$6.56 - hm.com