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The key to the perfect smoothie

September 5th, 2014 No Comments

smoothie with protein

Ideally a smoothie is packed with nutrients, satisfies our hunger, and tastes great.  So…how do we go about making that happen?  Well, taste is a matter of…taste.  I tend to think if you add a little banana it will be manageable.  In this post, I’m focusing on the other two parts.  However, should you make the smoothie above, I can assure you it’s yummy.

As we learned years ago, each meal and snack needs to have the same number of protein, carbs, and fat to fill us up and keep our metabolism in gear.  (Click here to read about figuring out portions) For my body and activity level that’s:

  • 20-30g of protein
  • 25g carbs
  • 7-10 g of fat
  • About 250-300 calories total

After a workout, we need to get this in our body within 45 minutes.  Honestly, the sooner the better.  It’s also important we feed our body with protein it can easily absorb and dispatch to our muscles asap. A smoothie is our best option!

So let’s break down my smoothie:

Protein: Grass-fed organic whey is 20g of protein. If you ‘re dairy free, look for pea protein and avoid soy.

Carbs:  1/3 of a banana (9g carbs and potassium), a few frozen blueberries (10g carbs and antioxidants), and 1/2 pack of sugar-free Acai (superfood with 2g carbs, 2.5g fat).

Fat: 1/5 Avocado is 4g fat.

You need the fat to satiate your hunger.  It also slows down your digestion so your body has time to absorb the nutrients.  Since I’m incorporating two handfuls of spinach (one veggie serving for the day), I use avocado as my fat source.  Besides the fact it makes the drink super smooth, avocado has also been proven to help your body absorb 200-400% more of the nutrients in vegetables.  Another option is a dollop of coconut oil or flax seed oil.  (I try to stay away from nut butters because I eat almond butter and nuts throughout the day.  They’re really hard to digest and high in calories.)

Now that the nutritional portion is taken care of, I can add on things like glutamine or Philosophie  superfood powders which taste so good on their own.

Vega Protein Performance Pack

If I’m on the run and can’t get home to make a smoothie, I take a Vega Sports Protein Performance pack and a bottle and shake it up with cold water.  Don’t worry, it tastes great!

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If I’m going to eat spinach instead of drink it

July 10th, 2014 No Comments

bon appétit spinach salad

 

These days the only way I’ll take my spinach is in a glass, either as part of a smoothie or juice blend.  Then I ran across this salad recipe in bon appetit.  Now I’m reconsidering and might even be motivated to have a little dinner party.  (If you’ve been gone for a while I’m single and on some sort of cooking strike.)

Spinach Salad with Crispy Onions and Dates

Via bon appétit June 2014

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Fresh spinach
  • bag of dates
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 lime juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Blend 2 pitted dates, 1/3 cup veggie oil, 1 tsp lime zest, 1/4 cup lime juice in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup veggie oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat and sautee shallots until crispy. About 5-7 min.  Remove from pan and place on a paper towel.
  3. Chop 3/4 cup of dates.
  4. Toss it together!
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Breakfast boredom leads to healthy bagel replacement + LA hotspot gourmet version

June 19th, 2014 2 Comments

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I’m always trying to think of ways to reinvent breakfast, in my opinion, the most boring meal of the day.  If I were eating waffles and bacon, breakfast would be my favorite.  However, such is not the case.  My options are oatmeal/quinoa with seeds and nuts, yogurt with seeds and fruit, or hard-boiled eggs.  If I’m being honest, on the days I teach at SoulCycle, I eat whatever looks appetizing in my fridge: usually half of a banana slathered with almond butter or just almond butter and jam in a bowl….I’m eating it with coffee so it doesn’t need to be healthy, just small and slow-burning.

 

Recently I’ve been craving bagels.  Recently I’ve also been trying to cut out gluten.  Not a good pair, but an admirable challenge!

 

Being single, there are only so many things in my house, so the recipe for this hearty treat almost put itself together.

 

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Brown Rice Cake + Raw Almond Butter + Non-Fat Greek Yogurt + Home-made Jam

Carbs + Fat + Protein + Deliciousness

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Now, there isn’t enough protein (about 20g per meal for me), but the combo is quick, easy, light, and satisfying for 2 hours.  That’s really all I need in the morning.
At first glance, I know, it makes you cringe, but think about it….the recipe makes sense.  Sub rice cake for bagel, yogurt for cream cheese….It’s really a solid combo that coincidentally I’m not the only loving.
Bon Appetit clipping

 

A couple weeks ago, I’ve just made my little substitute bagel breakfast and I break open Bon Appetit. (Literally. As you see at the top of this post.) I flip through a few pages and I see a feature on Squirl, the latest LA hotspot. The hipsters apparently line up around the block for their fresh toast and homemade jam.  The owner and chef is Jessica Koslow, who reigns from Bacchanalia (one of my favorite restaurant in Atlanta).  Guess what her signature dish is: a version of my little biscuit!  Granted, Koslow is much more resourceful, but she has the same concept.  Her version is quite decadent: rye toast, ricotta cheese, and raspberry jam.  YUM!
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How to revive sweaty lettuce

May 29th, 2014 No Comments

Mixed baby lettuces from the farmers’ market make my MY FAVORITE salad.No matter if I grab just arugula or an herbal blend, the flavor in each leaf is so prominent I feel like my salad is a treat instead of torture.  Even if it’s just the lettuce in the bowl.

Now with the summer heat settling in, my problem is getting the lettuce home without it sweating in the bag.  Thankfully the farmer I buy it from had a great solution!

  1. Buy your lettuce last
  2. Hold the bag by the corners and swing it around away from you so it puffs up like a ballon. Tie it off.  This way the lettuce won’t get smushed by heavy veggies.  (I also place it on top of everything else.)
  3. When you get home, open the bag and wipe out any condensation with a paper towel.  Then press a paper towel flat onto one side of the bag.
  4. Swing the bag around and tie it off again.  Place it in the fridge on the top shelf.

You’ll find it regains some of its crispness and will keep for several days!

CLICK HERE for some of my favorite salad recipes and quick tricks.

Storing fresh lettuce

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Delicious Dish: Steamed Sea Bass with a Citrus Soy Sauce

March 13th, 2014 No Comments

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Amongst my friends, it’s a joke how terrible I am at food photography, mediocre at plating, yet despite it all and the mess in the kitchen I’m a pretty solid as a cook.  So you’ll have to go with me on this one.  It’s amazing.

Sea Bass with Citrus and Soy

via Epicurious (published in Bon Apetit Magazine March 2002)

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice**
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 6-ounce sea bass fillets

** I had the juice bar at Whole Foods juice a whole pineapple.  OR I’ve use lemon juice mixed with a little agave.

Mix first 6 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Add fish; turn to coat. Chill 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.

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Place steamer rack in large skillet. Arrange fish on rack. Pour marinade into skillet under rack and bring to boil. Cover skillet and steam fish until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Transfer fish to plates. Remove steamer rack from skillet. Boil marinade until reduced enough to coat spoon, about 6 minutes; spoon over fish. Top with green onions (optional).

I usually top it with oranges.  Here I’ve paired it with green beans sautéed in toasted sesame seed oil, quinoa with cilantro, and SoCal sunset.  Doesn’t get much better in my book :)

Sunset in venice, ca

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Best grilled cheese ever?!

March 6th, 2014 No Comments

By the looks of it, I’m going to go with “HELL YES!”  I stumbled across this recipe from Partial Ingredients on my friend Joe’s Facebook page and was instantly drooling.

I haven’t been cooking lately, hence the lack of recipes on MTM.  Not to worry, I’m firing up the oven on Friday so there should be something exciting to see next week.

BUT…

I don’t know if my dish will beat this bad boy.  This grilled cheese has everything I love sandwiched between two pieces of bread, which makes it even more heavenly. Plus, a dollop of cream and cilantro on top.  I mean….

Partial Ingredients is a food blog without much background about the blogger.  She lives in central California, seems to cook often, and adapts recipes to her liking.  For example, she says she came up with this recipe using leftovers from a Mexican meal.  I would have never thought of a grilled cheese, but here it is in all its glory!

Evereyone always wants to add meat to a grilled cheese which makes it too heavy.  Admittedly, this version is loaded with fat, yet I’m going to guess eat bite is worth it.  We can lighten it up with less avocado and maybe adding some spinach.  Make it as you will.  My advise, just make it!

Roasted Jalapeno and Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Via Partial Ingredients 

(Makes 3 sandwiches)
Printable Version

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bread, cut in half
  • 6-7 jalapenos, halved with seeds removed
  • whole milk queso fresco, sliced thin
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced or mashed
  • Sour cream

Directions:

  1. On the broiler setting, roast the jalapenos cut side down for about 5-6 minutes, or until the jalapenos are just starting to char.
  2. Place a few slices of cheese on one slice of bread. Add the jalapenos on top.
  3. On the other slice of bread, spread a thin layer of sour cream.
  4. Assemble the sandwich and grill for several minutes until the cheese is melted.
  5. Add the avocado slices onto the sandwich after grilling.

 

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Like you need another reason to add avocado + recipe

February 6th, 2014 1 Comment

January's famous egg sandwich

 

You love avocado already: it’s delicious and it’s “good fat.”  But guess what, there’s more!

Studies have shown that if you add avocado to leafy greens and tomatoes, your body is able to absorb 200-400% more of the veggie’s nutrients.  Hopefully that doesn’t hold true for the “nutrients” in fried tortilla chips….that study has yet to be done ;)

January, my friend and founder of January Labs (the skincare line I rave about), puts avocado pretty much everything.  Here, she’s making her famous egg sandwich which I am treated to at least once a week (#luckygirl).  She does a few things to make the finished product more than just your average egg dish.

JANUARY’S FAMOUS EGG SANDWICH

Ingredients

Putting it all together

For the eggs:  Put the gas on medium high and get the skillet hot. Coat with a thin layer of coconut oil.  Crack the eggs into the skillet and quickly cover with a lid.  Cook until whites are done.  Now for me, the whites don’t get done enough before the sides dry out, so I’ll gently flip each egg once.

While the egg is cooking start to toast the muffin, slice the tomato, slice the avocado.

Start to stack: muffin, then avocado, then tomato.  Sprinkle with salt.  (Himalyan sea salt has a light flavor so you can be generous).   Top with egg over easy.  Sprinkle with salt, grind pepper, sprinkle with herbs (they will make a huge difference).

So easy, so simple, so delicious!

 

 

 

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No hassle Super Bowl snacks

January 23rd, 2014 No Comments

After years of throwing football parties, I’ve realized people don’t come for the healthy food.  In fact they almost use the Super Bowl as an excuse to not eat healthy. That being said, I can’t serve crap at my house, I just won’t do it.

For a half-time “dinner” I’ll serve chicken (see a grill-less recipe below)  and a big salad.  Otherwise, it’s snacks galore around my house.  In the past I’ve put a little too much effort into the snacks and I didn’t get to enjoy the party.  With this list I’m going to try and help you avoid that.  As my friend Kim would say, here are some “easy breezy” snack recipes that are healthy and indulgent.

FARMER’S MARKET CROSTINIS

Farmer's Market Crostinis

I made these on Christmas for guests to much on while I prepared dinner.

All you need is a baguette, something that spreads, and your favorite fresh veg.

For the plate above I:

  1. Sliced and toasted the baguettes
  2. Spread on either avocado or vegan all nut milk ricotta (amazing BTW)
  3. Added arugula tossed with dressed with olive oil, salt, and lemon
  4. Topped with either sliced persimmon w/a drop of honey or tomato and basil.

FRESH DIPS 

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I posted all of my dip recipes in October.  Honeslty, the only thing work the hassle is the guac and the home-made ranch dressing (which is greek yogurt and spices).  Queso dip from scotch is pretty amazing too. Otherwise, buy the salsa and hummus you love!  

KIND NUT CLUSTERS 

KIND Bars as snacks

I would have NEVER thought to tear up KIND bars and serve them in a dish at a party.  But!  I received a pitch from their publicist a week ago offering alternative suggestions to just chowing down, and this was one of them.  Last weekend when we were low on food at the house and people were coming over, I busted out a couple KIND bars from my purse and served them.  If people didn’t rave about the snack, I wouldn’t recommend it to you.  To my surprise, served next to chips and salsa, the sweet nut clusters were a hit!

SUPER EASY BAKED BBQ CHICKEN

(Please excuse the old pic!)

If for some reason you’re not grilling, here’s how you can make an impressive chicken in the oven. This is my mom’s recipe so you know it will a quickie.

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast per person
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce (check for corn syrup please!)
  • Put chicken in baking pan and cover with sauce as much as possible. Save some sauce for later.
  • Bake at 350 until cooked through.
  • Serve with extra sauce.

Sounds too simple to be edible, but it’s delicious.

LAST YEAR’S RECIPES

I make this list every year! Here’s what I suggested last time:

The most popular recipe I’ve ever posted is one of them: Baked Avocado Fries. Unfortunately you can’t make these ahead of time, but the rest of them you can.

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