Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Better than Take Out Beef & Broccoli

My fiance loves broccoli!  We have even joked about opening up a restaurant where every dish has broccoli in it haha.  I assume that would turn many people away.  Regardless, we enjoy beef and broccoli very much. However, we had not found a healthy option until now.  I am not a fan of Chinese take out and the frozen beef and broccoli from Trader Joe's has way too much sodium in it.  So, when I found this recipe from Rainy Day Gal, we were very excited to try it!  We used New York Strip because Trader Joe's does not sell flank steak or any other less expensive meat that we could find.  But, I am pretty sure any cut of meat will taste great.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours (meat marinates for an hour)


Meat Marinade: 

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar as a healthier alternative)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp EVOO (calls for vegetable oil but I always use EVOO)
  • 1 1/2 lbs meat, cut into thin strips (I find using kitchen scissors is the easiest)


  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour (I used spelt as it is healthier)
  • 3 tbps EVOO
  • 2 heads broccoli (I used 1 microwaveable bag from store)


Whisk together meat marinade ingredients.  Toss in meat, cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Prepare sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and flour.  

In a saute pan, heat 2 tbsp EVOO (or vegetable oil) over high heat.  Add broccoli and saute 3 minutes, stirring often.  If you have a gas range, I would turn the temperature down a little bit (I do have gas and found it was better a little lower).   Transfer broccoli to plate.  

Reduce heat to medium or medium high.  Add remaining tbsp of EVOO and then add the marinated meat and half the sauce.  Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the meat is no long pink.  Stir in the broccoli and remaining sauce and let cook for 1 minutes.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quick 7 Ingredient Coconut & Curry Turkey Chili

On Thursday I found myself trapped in a day long of very exciting enrollment meetings.  Yes, I am being sarcastic.  While the medical carrier went on and on and on about deductibles, copays and other things no one in the audience and most of you reading this understand, I was on Pinterest dreaming about what I wanted to eat for dinner! :)  I knew I had ground turkey at home that needed to be cooked, so I was hoping to find a recipe using that.  I remembered I had recently pinned something that sounded very interesting to me.  Coconut + curry + turkey = chili.  Hmm.  Lets give it a try!  

The recipe comes from The Gracious Pantry.  It is SO EASY!  I left my meetings at 4:30 and was 45 miles from my house!  If you live in LA or have visited, you know this is a death sentence.  Luckily, I was able to navigate myself to the store by 5:50 and home by 6:10.  Anyway, the point I am making here is I was tired from the long day and found this really enjoyable and most importantly filling.  


Prep Time: as long as it takes you to cut up onion!
Cook Time: about 20 minutes

  • Package of ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 lb green peas
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk (It took me forever to find this in the store, it is by the Thai food/ethnic section in my store)
  1. In a large pot, cook the turkey with the EVOO.  When the turkey is no longer pink, I poured out the fat.  (The recipe I used did not)  
  2. Once the turkey is cooking combine the next 5 ingredients into the pot, mix together and cover.  I had the chili on medium heat for 15 minutes.  It will be piping hot so let cool before you try :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quinoa & Vegetable Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

I have found another amazing quinoa recipe!  A big thanks to The Garden Grazer for the inspiration.  I altered her recipe a bit, but the combination of ingredients she came up with is delicious!  The idea of adding "dressing" is something I had not thought of yet and cannot wait to use that inspiration in future dishes.

The fun thing about this dish is that you can really use whatever you already have.  It also makes a lot!  So, if you have a lot of mouths to feed or want a healthy lunch for multiple days you are all set.  I found that it had more flavor when it sat over night.  The quinoa will soak up the flavors of the vegetables and the lemon basil dressing, making it even more delicious.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did :)  Please leave me a comment!  I would love to read them.

Servings:  6 to 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes + quinoa cook time & cool time
Total Time: 40 minutes


1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 ripe avocado
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 roma tomatoes
1 bell pepper (I used orange)
1 can of corn (can use frozen)
1/2 onion (whatever you prefer)
1/4 cup Parmesan flakes

4 tbsp EVOO
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
10 to 15 fresh basil leaves, washed & cut into thin strips

TIP: When cutting the tomato, cut in half length wise.  Then use your thumb to scrape out the seed/gooey part.  It will look like this before you cut it.

Cook quinoa according to package directions, mine took about 17 minutes to cook.  While quinoa is cooking, mix together the ingredients for the dressing.  Then slice the veggies into small pieces.  When quinoa is done, set aside and allow to cool (about 15 minutes).  Once the quinoa is cool, mix all ingredients including the dressing in a large bowl.  Either enjoy now or refrigerate over night to allow the flavors to absorb more.

Enjoy!! I served mine with bbq chicken!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cajun Shrimp & Couscous

First, I am sorry that I have not been able to post for at least a week now!  It has been a crazy for me in the past week, but all good things!  Last Wednesday was my fiance's birthday and he wanted shrimp.  So, like most of you, I took to Pinterest to find a recipe.  I liked the Paula Dean Fiery Cajun Shrimp recipe, however, did not want to use two sticks of butter!  Instead of using the sticks of butter, I used coconut butter.  Coconut butter and oil have many health benefits and are better for you than butter.  (here are some health benefits).  The coconut flavor does come through a tiny bit in the food, but for this recipe I think it works well.  I paired the shrimp with Pine Nut Near East Couscous.  This was a quick, easy and flavorful dish.  I hope you enjoy!!

Serving Size: 2 hungry people
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes


1 lb cleaned up shrimp (purchased mine at Whole Foods, not frozen)
1 cup coconut butter, melted (about 15 seconds on high in microwave)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp hot sauce (can use less if you do not like spice)
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 400.  Combine all ingredients, but lemon slices & shrimp in a bowl.  Mix together.  Combine shrimp in mixture.  Lay shrimp in pan and add lemon slices.  Bake in oven for about 12 minutes.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Healthy Mexican Quinoa

If you have not noticed by now you will not find a recipe on here using rice.  I find that quinoa is a great substitute for rice and other less nutritious grains.  You can always use rice instead of quinoa if you do not like it, but I recommend giving it a try :)  Quinoa has less carbs, more protein, more fiber and more unsaturated fat (the good fat) than brown rice.  

We picked up some chicken bombers from Whole Foods, which I felt would pair well with a Mexican side dish.  The chicken bombers, in case you are wondering, are chicken with a jalepeno in the middle and wrapped in bacon.  Basically, it is amazing :)  I created this Mexican quinoa to be a perfect complement with spiciness of the chicken bombers.  It is packed full of yummy, healthy ingredients.  I hope you enjoy!!

Servings:  4 to 6 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 pepper, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 can black bean, drained 
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup salsa
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1/2 tbsp cilantro 
Mexican cheese to sprinkle on top


Cook quinoa according to directions on package.  Prepare other ingredients.  Once quinoa is cooked and cooled completely, about 15 to 20 minutes, mix all ingredients together in large bowl.  Stir well and serve!

Chicken Bomber & Mexican Quinoa 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Balsamic Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Quinoa Salad

A few years ago I would have not eaten tomatoes.  It is funny how your taste buds change over time, or maybe you just become less picky.  Regardless, this recipe combines some of my favorite ingredients!  The basil provides a fresh flavor that when combined with the tomato and creamy mozzarella is heavenly.  I paired this salad with a protein for my fiance, but I just ate this as my dinner.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! :)


1 cup uncooked quinoa
10 oz package cherry tomatoes, quartered
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into bite size pieces
15 to 20 basil leaves, cut into thin pieces
1 1/2 tbsp quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp 21 season solute (Trader Joe's spice)


Cook quinoa according to directions on package.  Once done, let sit to cool.  While quinoa is cooking, prepare your other ingredients.  Once quinoa is cooled (about 30 minutes), combine all ingredients into large bowl.  Mix in spices, balsamic vinegar and EVOO.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Serve cold.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kale, Sweet Potato & Bean Soup

Yes, I am on a soup kick!  I am in love with this soup that was inspired by Food Wanderings. I substituted the russet potato for a sweet potato, which provides much more nutrition.  I have been trying to incorporate as many vegetables as possible into our meals and find that soup provides me with the easiest method of doing that.  Plus, it has been "cold" (anything in the 50s is cold to me), which makes the soup extra yummy in my belly!  It has also been fun to expose my fiance to different things he is not used to eating.  He is in shock he has not had meat in several days and is still satisfied!  Enjoy!


1 bunch kale, cut ribs and stems out and coarsely chop2 15oz cans of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced1 large onion, diced4 garlic cloves, minced2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces2 celery ribs, diced2 medium tomatoes, cut into small pieces1 8oz can of tomato paste2 tablespoons olive or canola oilblack pepper to taste½ cup chopped parsley6-8 cups or more low sodium vegetable broth


Sauté onions and garlic in oil over low/medium heat and stir occasionally until onions are translucent. Add the celery, potato, and carrots and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer until they are semi soft (al dente). Add the kale and sauté for couple minutes further. Add fresh tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for a couple minutes. Add the beans, vegetable broth or water, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce to low/medium and cook partially covered for about 35 minutes or until potatoes and vegetables are fork tender.  Stir occasionally.