Monday, February 28, 2011

Dinner Salad for 2

When people hear the word salad they think "healthy, and not enough to fill me up". I am here to squash that stereotypical idea of the delicious dinner salad and show you ways to make it filling, yet healthful.

  • Adding lean proteins is key. A piece of grilled chicken, seared tofu, beans, edamame, or other lean meats can make your simple salad a meal in itself.
  • Salad toppings are as important as ice cream toppings when you are trying to entice your guests into your dinner salad selection. Toppings can be anything from toasted nuts, to fresh or dried fruits, small amount of crumbled blue cheese or feta, or even pieces of grilled or marinated vegetables. Think of the salad mix as a blank canvas and the toppings are what paint the whole picture. 
  • Take into account portion control when adding toppings such as cheese, bacon, and meats. Although these foods are fine and even in some cases healthy for you, an excessive amount of any food is not a good idea.
  • There’s more to life than just iceberg - while perfect for you classic cob, iceberg lacks vitamin content and flavor when it comes to a dinner salad.
  • ü      Spinach – a very green and earthy flavor, great with sweet vinaigrettes and fruits.
    ü      Romaine – crispy, and hearty leaf, great with creamy dressings like Caesar, and you can even grill it on the barbecue.
    ü      Boston Lettuce or Butter Lettuce – a cross between iceberg and romaine, great for lettuce wraps.
    ü      Meuslin – a French word for “mixed”, usually a mixture of a few different types of lettuce, varies with brand selection.
  • Try mixing different types of lettuce together for a crunchy variety or mix in some fresh herbs with the salad mix.
  • Making your own dressing is easier than it sounds! Mixing together simple ingredients like oil, vinegar and fresh herbs is so much better than that bottle. 

Ahi Tuna Asian Salad for 2
2 Ahi Tuna steaks
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
5 leaves of romaine, chopped thin
1 cup baby spinach
1 carrot, shaved (using the peeler)
½ cup edamame
½ of a mango, diced
2 tbsp cilantro leaves
1 tbsp sesame seeds
½ cup sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce
½ tbsp chili paste
Asian bean noodles, optional

Heat a large skilled over high heat. When hot, place tuna steaks and sear each side for 1 minute. Remove from heat and chill.
In a large platter place cabbage, romaine, and spinach. Mix until well combined. Top with carrot, edamame, mango, and cilantro. Slice tuna steak thin and lay over the top of the salad.
In a small bowl mix sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds and chili paste. Mix well and then pour dressing over tuna and greens.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Morning..

A relaxing Sunday breakfast..homemade Cinnamon Chip Scone with a Cinnamon Latte

Cinnamon Chip Scones
2 cups flour
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup half and half
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400*F. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter. In a smaller bowl, combine beaten egg and half and half. Add to dry mixer and stir until moistened. Add cinnamon chips and stir until distributed. Turn the dough onto a clean surface  and knead until dough is smooth enough to mold into a 12 in circle (dough will be sort of crumbly). Cut circle 4 times making 6 large scones (triangles) or if you would like smaller scones cut as you desire. Place the scones 1 inch apart on a baking sheet (ungreased) and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
To make icing add milk to powdered sugar and wisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm scones and serve.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Summer CSA...

CSA or community supported agriculture is something that I personally am learning a lot about this year. We have all shopped at farmers markets and some of us might have even "picked our own" produce at some time in our lives, but when we are shopping at the supermarket what we forget about is the amazing produce that our farmers grow right her in Boston’s backyard.

Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is kind of like a produce subscription to a farm of your choice. Basically how it works is you pay an upfront cost and every week through your chosen season, you receive a supply of veggies, fruits, fresh herbs, and sometimes even eggs and meats. The perks of a CSA are that you know the foods are fresh, you can go visit the farmers and see where your food is coming from and of course, you are supporting our local farmer friends!

Writing the check was a little bit painful, only because it was an upfront cost for the whole season, but when you do the math it came out to be around $30 dollars per week, which I know I spend well over at just the regular supermarket for produce. I thought about the amount of fresh things that we eat, especially throughout the summer with home cooking, barbecues with friends, beach visits, and more. My CSA begins in June and goes all the way until mid September (20 weeks). I cant wait to see the variety of things I am going to get!

Believe it or not, right here in Massachusetts we grow an enormous variety of produce. We grow tomatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, brussel sprouts, all types of squash, pumpkins, eggplant, parsnips, potatoes, all types of lettuce, a variety of herbs, beets, carrots, apples, peaches, all berries, and the list goes on and on….

Check out to research farms. Each farm will have pick up locations throughout the greater Boston area. I chose Red Fire Farm, located in Granby, MA. I liked their philosophy and convenient pick up location in Brighton!

After your research if you plan to sign up for one, do it soon! Shares go fast...

I stole this photos from my new friends, Laura and Theresa, they have a blog all about eating local, its awesome. Doesn't this picture just make you want to eat healthy and sign up for a CSA now?! Check out their blog - They are also great references for more information or questions regarding signing up for a CSA.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Homemade Takeout

Over my long and relaxing weekend, my sister and I visited my Grandmother. She lives in Somerville, home of the best Italian bakeries. On our way home, after our visit, we stopped at our favorite 'Winter Hill Bakery'. This tiny little spot creates the best loafs of Italian Scali bread in the world. So anyways, we both bought our loaf of bread, I bought a package of homemade garlic bread and I also bought 2 bags of fresh homemade pizza dough. On Monday night, we decided to make out own take out food....

Homemade Caesar Salad

1 heart of romaine lettuce
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp grated cheese (I used Romano)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2-cup olive oil
Croutons, if desired

In a large bowl, chop lettuce and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk and lemon juice. Then add all other ingredients ending with the olive oil. Whisk together and pour over salad. Toss with extra grated cheese and croutons. Serves 2-4 people 

 Broccoli and Cheese Calzone

1 raw pizza dough ball
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic power
1 cup steamed broccoli
½ cup shredded, part skim mozzarella cheese
1 tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425oF. Open the package of dough and before handling sprinkle all over with flour to make it easier to handle. Using hands, gentle stretch the dough ball to the shape of pizza crust and place on a baking sheet. (Don’t worry about what it looks like, it’s homemade!) Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil and spread all over, sprinkle garlic powder, add broccoli and cheese. Fold dough over itself to cover filling and seal pressing the edges together. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over top, sprinkle salt, and rosemary. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Lots of takeout...

Happy President's Day! This weekend was a much-needed long and relaxing weekend. Lots of errands, laundry and house cleaning! But the weekend was a little bit out of the ordinary seeing that my oven hasn’t been turned on in 3 days! We have a lot of gift cards from Christmas and because we have been so busy, we have been taking advantage of local restaurants and take out joints. Come on, even I get lazy sometimes…

Making better choices when you go to restaurants and local take out place is a motto to follow at all times. You can really fall into traps sometimes when eating out, due to the fact that everything looks and smells so good and even sometimes the foods you think may be good, may be the worst ones of all. Here are some tips to think about when eating out....

Beware of Salads – When we go to the salad section on our favorite restaurant menus, we always assume we are making a better choice. The truth is, just because its green doesn’t always mean its good. Most salads at restaurants will be loaded with toppings like bacon, hard boiled egg, blue cheese, croutons, fried chicken strips, creamy dressing, etc. These ingredients are the ones to watch out for. These simple topping can cause your healthy green salad to be as bad as that Cheeseburger that you were really craving. *Look for the salads that offer grilled chicken or grilled seafood for toppings, always ask for dressing on the side (so if you do go for the creamy kind, you can control the amount you are using), ask for oil and vinegar or the house vinaigrette.

A lot of places will allow you to get the “lunch size” portion at dinnertime.

Sharing is caring – if you are with friends, family or your hubby, share an appetizer and an entrée. This way you are controlling your portion sizes and your calorie intake.

Taking sides – beware restaurant style mashed veggies (potato, sweet potato, or squash), it is almost guaranteed to have more butter than actual vegetable. Ask for steamed veggies or a side salad instead of French fries or mashed.  

Cocktails - next time you go to order that fruity sweet drink at the bar, ask the Bartender to cut the juice with some seltzer or soda water. It reduces the amount of calories per drink and I promise, you wont even taste the difference. *Skinny Margaritas - fresh lime juice, 1 packet of zero calorie sweetener, seltzer water, and tequila.

I'm on my way out now to do some food shopping...regular recipes will resume starting tomorrow :)


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just one of those days...

Tuesday was one of those days....and Wednesdays are my days at work that I go in late. I usually will do errands, or clean the house but yesterday I treated myself to some "me time". I did some shopping, we needed some things for the house, and then I made my way to one of my favorite new clothing stores. You wouldn’t believe how much better my day got when I saw a sale wrack of winter jackets! Not that I needed one but their prices ranged from $3.99-9.99. NO your not reading that wrong, WINTER coats for that cheap! As I inspected a beautiful Navy Blue jacket, I thought life is good :).

Another thing that always makes me feel great after a long stressful day is a nice warm plate of pasta. Whether it’s with red sauce or a simple oil and veggie dish, pasta is the ultimate comfort meal.

Although Spaghetti and Meatballs is a comfort food, that doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy or greasy! Spaghetti and Meatballs at a restaurant can have anywhere between 700-1000 calories, depending on how its prepared and the portion size that they give you. By simple broiling the meatballs instead of frying them, by using uncomplicated ingredients, your Food Fashionita Spaghetti and Meatballs will more than fulfill your craving for comfort and will be close to guilt free.

Traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 lb ground beef, pork and veal mix
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/4 cups grated Romano cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg

Preheat broiler. In a large bowl add all ingredients and use hands to mix together thoroughly. Roll mixture into balls, about the size of golf balls. Place meatballs about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Broil until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes per side.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes (unflavored, no salt added)
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, diced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp onion powder

In a large pot add 2 tbsp olive oil, heat and then add onions, sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, onion powder and tomatoes. Add cooked meatballs and simmer sauce for 10 minutes. To finish add fresh basil or thyme leaves (optional).
Serve with pasta and grated cheese. Serves 4-5 people.

Monday, February 14, 2011

*As requested*

Some people have been asking me to post the Vanilla Mold with Toasted Coconut and Caramel Sauce recipe. Before posting this I must disclaim that first this dessert is probably the WORST thing (health wise) that you could eat, yet the BEST thing (taste wise) you will ever have!!! I also have to give a shout out to my Aunt Melanie, she is actually the creator of this amazzzzzing dessert. 

Vanilla Mold with Toasted Coconut and Caramel Sauce

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (knox)
2 ½ cups sugar
pinch of salt
4 cups whole milk
2 tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups heavy cream
½ cup butter
¼ cup flour
3 cups half and half
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1 8oz pkg of coconut

In a large saucepan stir gelatin and 1 cup of sugar and salt. Gradually add milk and turn heat to medium and cook until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture into a large bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1-1 ½ hrs or until mixture is the consistency of egg whites. (**if you wait too long the gel will get harder and then it could cause lumps)

While gel is firming, heat oven to 350oF and toast coconut until golden, constantly checking to make sure it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool

In another large bowl beat cream using an electric mixture until it forms soft peaks. Remove gelatin mixture from the fridge beat with the electric mixture until smooth and then gently add to the cream. Mix together until will combined. Pour mixture into desired molds. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For sauce: in a saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour. Gradually stir in half and half, brown sugar and the remainder of the white sugar. Stir until thickened.

To serve: fill a large bowl with hot water. Submerge the bottom of your mold in water to soften it from the sides (allows for a smoother unmolding). Flip mold onto desired serving plate. Sprinkle each serving with coconut and a drizzle of caramel.

Makes a lot, I actually cut the recipe in half and was able to serve 6 people. Sounds like a lot of work but I promise the steps are not hard. It's worth it!

Love and the Smell of Onions...

I drizzle the oil and heat up the pan, I dice them and throw them in. First you hear that amazing sizzle and then the aroma hits you..the best smell in the whole world, onions..

So it's Valentine's Day...Love is lingering in the air for all...and at our house, the smell of onions too.  I truly believe that the way to a loved ones heart is through their stomach. Nothing makes people happier than a nice home cooked meal.

February is also Heart Health Awareness Month. Heart disease is the number one killer of our American population and the funniest thing is, it is totally preventable. There are so many small changes that you can make with your family to decrease your chances of developing heart disease.

Cardiovascular (heart) disease includes a wide range of diseases that affect the heart, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are the most talked about.  

Here are some simple food tips that you can do starting today!
·        Cook at home – Cooking at home is a great way to control and limit your portion sizes and of course what you eat. You are able to limit the amount of oil used, salt and of course it will be fresh.
·        Oils – when cooking, use heart healthy oils such as olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil or soybean oil. Although they are considered healthy for our hearts, use them in moderation (they still have about 100 calories per tablespoon)
·        Add Spice to your Life – experiment using spices and seasoning combinations. Avoid prepackaged seasoning mixes that usually contain tons of salt. 
·        We teach our kids to share…why don't we? – If you do go out to your favorite restaurant, order one entrée and share it. Maybe you will have room for some dessert.

For more information visit , American Heart Association.

Tonight our special Valentine's Day meal included a combination of healthy foods and then of course a couple cheats. Here are a few recipes....

Dijon Brussel Sprouts with Crumbled Bacon

2 cups fresh brussel sprouts, cleaned and cut in half
1 onion, diced
2 strips of bacon, diced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a heated frying pan, fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. With the heat still on high add onions and saute for 5 minutes, add brussel sprouts and saute another 10 minutes. Add water and dijon mustard, stir. Keep on low heat for another 10 minutes or until sprouts are tender. When serving crumble bacon on top. Serves 2 with lots of left overs!

Seared Boneless Pork Chops

2 boneless (thick cut) pork chops
1 tbsp Montreal Steak seasoning
1 tbsp oil

Heat oven to 350*F. Heat a frying pan on high heat, add oil. Sprinkle steak seasoning on both pork chops and add to pan. Sear one side for 5 minutes and flip. Sear second side for 1 minute and then put in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes. Serve.

 For more info, or for other recipes...please comment!

 Simple Salad
Dijon Brussel Sprouts with Crumbled Bacon
Seared Boneless Pork Chops
Vanilla Mold with Toasted Coconut and Caramel Sauce

Oh, and don't forget the secret ingredient to all my dishes....Love :).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chicken Soup Kinda Day..

Sunday is family whole life, Sunday has always been the kind of day that you spent with your closest family and maybe some friends and basically ate your way through the hours of the day. Whether it is gathering around the TV to watch a football game, or it’s catching up with stories of your workweek or upcoming news or events, Sundays are my favorite day of the week.

Today we had breakfast at our house. My parents and sister (and her kiddos) came to join. We started with bacon and eggs in the bread (a traditional breakfast that my husband's grandmother used to make, and now his mom, where you cut a whole in the middle of a slice of bread and butter both sides. When it is in the fry pan you crack an egg in the whole, therefore the end result is egg in the bread!)

*Tip - Bacon does not have to be fried; we bake it in the oven! Lay the bacon on a cookie cooling wrack and then place wrack in a cookie sheet (make sure your cookie sheet has high sides so that the bacon fat doesn’t drip in your oven) bake until crispy at 375oF. Bacon is a sometimes food. It is delicious but should be eaten in moderation. This cooking method is a good way to eliminate some of the excess fat.

As the day went on I decided to make a nice pot of Chicken Soup. Very traditional, simple ingredients, but hit the spot on so many levels considering the weather outside.

Traditional Chicken Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 onions diced
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
½ cup rice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups of shredded chicken
fresh lemon juice

In a large stockpot add oil and heat on high. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add rice and sauté another minute. Add chicken and stock, salt and pepper and simmer until rice is cooked and vegetables are tender. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon.


For dessert, we cheated! I made Fried Wontons. There is a traditional Portuguese pastry, whose name I will not attempt, that my mothers family would always bring to us during the holidays. I remember my mother and grandmother hiding the tray from the other guest, now I know why. The traditional pastry is a homemade dough, but as we got older we discovered that you could skip the actual process of making and stretching the dough and use Wonton wrappers (which they sell right at the regular supermarket).

Sooooo easy, all you do is heat vegetable oil to about 350oF. Drop the wonton wrapper one at a time into the oil. When the wrapper starts to sizzle in the oil, take a fork and press it into the middle of the wrapper and spin, creating a pinwheel (picture to follow). Fry until golden brown, flipping once. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with white sugar.

Final product...delicious treat!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chicken, Chicken, and more Chicken...

Chicken to me is a blank canvas. By itself it is plain, dry, boring and really unappealing. Just like when we add spice and color to an outfits with a zebra print scarf of magenta earring, chicken needs some dressing up to give it life too!

Because chicken is so bland, I have found that almost every flavor combination added to it works! Whether it is a simple soy and orange zest marinate or my favorite dish my Mother-in-Law makes, soy sauce and molasses chicken wings, if you are going to start experimenting with flavors, chicken is where to start. It can be baked, sautéed, fried and even dehydrated (well of course Basil would be the only one to eat it that way). It really is the beginner cooks best friend. There are wings, breasts, thighs, legs, and then my favorite, the whole chicken.

Food Fashionista's Baked Chicken

1 Whole Chicken
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2-cup beer (whatever brand you have)
2 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove chicken from its packaging, remove the back of organs from the cavity and discard. Rinse the chicken under cold water on the inside of cavity and outside and then pat dry with a paper towel. Place whole chicken into a baking pan and pour melted butter all over (the chicken is cold so the butter will sort of harden on the skin). Massage the butter all over the skin of the chicken. Next sprinkle the steak seasoning all over the chicken and again, massage it into the skin. Pour beer on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 1hr45 minutes or until the juices run clear. Remove from over, let chicken sit for 5 or 10 minutes, carve and serve.

*Don't throw away the carcass! Wrap it up and put it in the freezer, you can make great (simple) chicken stock with this.

Easy Chicken Stock

2 chicken carcasses (some meat could still be attached)

In a stockpot place chicken carcasses and add water (maybe 12 cups of water). Cover and place pot on medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow boiling for about 20 minutes, watching to make sure that it doesn’t boil over and then bring to low heat and simmer for another 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow cooling and then straining the broth into a large bowl to remove chicken pieces.

*Because we used the whole chicken carcass, the stock will be very greasy. To eliminate the grease after it has cooled to room temperature put in the fridge over night. When you take it out of the fridge the next day you will see the grease floating on top, you can now drain the stock again to remove fat.
*If not using right way, place stock in freezer safe containers for later use.

My most recent favorite chicken recipe from TV!

Provided by  TV host of Kitchen Boss


3pounds chicken wings, drumettes and wing joints
1Tablespoon butter
1/3cup soy sauce
1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4cup honey
1Tablespoon sherry
1Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1teaspoon dry mustard
1Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
3pressed cloves garlic
1fresh red chili, thinly sliced
1teaspoon black pepper
1/2teaspoon salt

  1. Whisk together all marinade ingredients. Place wing pieces in a large Ziploc bag with the ingredients, seal the bag and turn to coat the chicken well. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight (can be marinated two days ahead).
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a half sheet pan with heavy duty foil and spray lightly or brush with oil.
  3. Remove chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade in a small saucepan. Lay the chicken pieces skin-side down on the prepared pan and roast 30 minutes. Baste with some of the reserved marinade and turn the pieces. Brush again with the marinade and roast another 30 minutes or longer until deeply bronzed.
  4. When the wings are almost finished bring the reserved marinade to a boil, lower heat to simmer and reduce the marinade until almost a syrup (don’t allow to become a syrup -- will be bitter). Remove from heat and whisk in the tablespoon of butter. Place wings in a large bowl, pour in contents of the saucepan and turn to glaze evenly. Plate and serve.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Easy Weeknight meal

Stir Fry with Sesame Cilantro Rice

1 cup white rice
2 1/2 cup water
6 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
Veggies of your choice (I used broccoli, red pepper and shredded cabbage)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
protein of your choice (I used beef)

In a frying pan heat olive oil and add protein, cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes (depending on meat, if tofu may be a little less time, if chicken maybe a little more time). Remove from pan and set aside. Next add onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes, add the rest of vegetables and saute for another 5 minutes. Add protein back into the pan and add 3 tbsp of sesame oil and soy sauce, stir and remove from heat.

In a saucepan add rice and water and cook on low head until tender. Add remainder of sesame oil and cilantro stir until well combined.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grocery Store

Over the weekend, my sister and I (who is equally as crazy about food as I am) took a little road trip to Burlington, MA to a store called Market Basket. I know it sounds crazy to drive ½ hour out of our way to simply go food shopping but when I tell you their produce and their prices are amazing it would be an understatement. We went early to beat the crowd, and to our surprise when we walked in...a table of Girl Scout cookies! I think Kris almost had an anxiety attack over the caramel delights. Anyways, we got 2 carts and made our way to the fresh produce section. “Is it weird that I am excited?” I said to my sister as a bagged the most beautiful bunch of cilantro I had ever seen (ya..I told you I was crazy). My point to this story is that food shopping shouldn't be a chore, it should be an adventure. If you plan ahead and have a general idea of what to do with the foods that you buy, cooking will be easier and less stressful.
I always try to keep staple items in my fridge and pantry for those “oh no! we have nothing to eat” kind of days.
Bread crumbs
Olive Oil
Vegetable Oil
Canned beans
Dried Lentils
Dried Spices (rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, Montreal steak seasoning)
Canned tomatoes
Chicken broth or bouillon cubes
Rotisserie Chicken
With these staple food item you can make a lot of quick and easy meals.

Quick Lentil Soup
1 bag of dried lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
2 slices of bacon, diced into small pieces
1 tbsp dried or fresh rosemary
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
2 onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 chicken bouillon cubes
8 cups water

In a small pot add dried lentils and 2 cups of water, bring to a boil for 10 minutes until lentils are softer but not fully cooked. The lentils will absorb most of the water but drain off the extra water and set aside

In a soup pot add oil and bacon and cook until crisp. Add onions, carrots and celery and saute for 2 minutes then add garlic, saute for another minute. Add bouillon cubes, rosemary and prepared lentils and saute for another minute. Add water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve

Tips for Food Shopping:
Plan meals – think about what you might want to eat or prepare for the week ahead. Take advantage of cooking shows, recipes from friends or recipes from the Food Fashionista. Having an idea of what you are going to be eating for the week makes shopping much easier.
Always make a list and stick to it – include only the foods that you are going to using to prepare meals for the week ahead Think about if you need to replenish any of your “staple items”. Also think about breakfast in the morning and grab and go snacks. Stick to your list, if you buy things that aren't on it because they look yummy or your craving them, you bill is going to be way over budget and 9 out of 10 times, those foods you pick on a whim are not healthy.
Don't go food shopping hungry  - your more likely to but thing you don't need and that aren't healthy for you
Clip coupon – don't be embarrassed to be the Coupon King or Queen!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Yummy Party Food Pics...

Just a sneak peak of some party foods from yesterday. Just a reminder that healthy foods are not only beautiful but are delicious!

Skinny Margarita and Fresh Raspberry Martini

Vegetable Platter with Onion Dip
 Vegan Lettuce Wraps
 Braised Beef Tacos

Your mouth watering yet?  Comment if you would like the recipes :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday

There are two things that we consider favorites, "must haves" at our house on a Sunday, that's Food and Football. My husband is a die hard NE Partiots fan, so seeing that this weekends Superbowl does not include his beloved team, you could say there is some sorrow around the house. Although our team is not playing we are still going to have a party with our closet family and friends to celebrate our two favorite things!

So I know usually when people think of Football food or party food we always think of greasy fried chicken and dips and appetizers loaded with calories but it doesn't have to be like that. There are so many simple substitutions that can be made to your favorite recipes to make them a little lighter on the fat, calories and even salt.

Here are some examples:

Buffalo Chicken Wings: at your average restaurant in 2 or 3 wings there is almost 400 calories. The reason for this high amount is the fact that they are breaded and usually fried and then slathered with sauce and melted butter.
Food Fashionista Buffalo Chicken Wings: By eliminating the breading on the outside and baking our wings to crispy delicious-ness, and using just plain old Franks Red Hot, I have cut the calories in half if not more, AND you can eat a few more than 2 or 3 pieces.

Seven Layer Dip: From the saturated fat in the sour cream and re fried beans to the thick layer of guacamole, Seven Layer Dip is a delicious but dangerous combination of ingredients. A serving size is about 1/2 cup (maybe enough to eat with 5 chips) with a whopping 250 calories (maybe more depending on the ingredients) and 15+ grams of fat!
Food Fashionista Seven Layer Dip: using simple substitutes like fresh pureed beans and fresh veggies this recipes is a touchdown compared to the original.
1 can of Kidney beans, pureed
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 scallions, diced
1/2 cup black olives
1 cup low fat sour cream or plain yogurt
3/4 cup shredded cheese

I like to start with the bean puree, then scallions, olives, tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro and the cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.

Today's Cocktails:
Skinny Margaritas - fresh lime juice, seltzer water and tequila
Fresh raspberry martinis - pureed raspberries, raspberry vodka and a splash of seltzer
Diet Sangria - 1 bottle red wine and 1/2 bottle diet orange soda, float fresh limes, lemons and oranges in pitcher.

Today I am also making beef tacos, veggies and dip, Asian lettuce wraps, mini baked potatoes, and mac and cheese bites, and cheating a little bit with fried mozzarella balls.

Pictures and more recipes with today's food to come...