Take advantage
of my archives!

Visit my hangouts in:

Brands I've
Loved Forever

Summer’s best salad

August 6th, 2015 No Comments

The other day I had the pleasure of meeting Joyce Chang, a remarkable, motivated woman and the Editor-in-Chief of Self magazine.  Amongst several topics we discussed, she told me two important things about her publication: their advice is offered by experts and backed up with scientific research (we can’t say that for every magazine out there), and “we do tons of salads.” Good to know! I get so bored making the same combos.

In that vein, I offer you my latest and greatest that I refer to as my Summer Fruit Salad. I take beautiful baby lettuces, herbs, and sweeten them up with summer’s best fruits.

Summer Fruit Salad

  • Mixed greens (stay away from anything peppery or bitter)
  • Torn fresh herbs (dill is the most important, flat parsley, cilantro)
  • A mixture of your favorite summer fruit (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, red grapes, plums)
  • Optional: cucumber, avocado
  • Brianna’s dressing (either Blush Wine or the Poppy Seed which I  dilute with lemon juice so it’s not so thick)
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Toasted walnuts or slivered almonds
  • Goat Cheese (go to the cheese shop and get one that’s smooth, not too tangy)

Optional: Roasted your own chicken

This actually takes the salad to another level because it’s so tender.

Chicken breast with bone and skin on.  Make a marinade of EVOO, chopped rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Or you can use a pre-made pesto to save time. Shove under the skin and lather the breast.  Roast at 450 until cooked through.  Remove skin and cut up.

Tweet this!Tweet this!

Make the best guac ever

June 25th, 2015 No Comments

  Coming from Texas, I hold a very high standard for fresh guacamole.  At this point, I think I’ve perfected my recipe.  Honestly it’s not much of a recipe, but each component is important.

1.  Ripe Avocados

Since avocados ripen from the inside out, you’ll know it’s ready to go when the point farthest from the core is soft.

At home, cut them down the center and cut into cubes.  Do not stir the guac at all until every component is in the bowl.

2.  Cherry Tomatos

Small tomatoes have a lot more flesh and  less liquid and seeds that you would have to clean out of larger tomatoes.

3.  Sweet Onions

Most people use white onions and they dominate the dip.  A milder onion has proven to keep the bite but not distract you from the avocado.

Chop them up small and remember less is more.

4.  Garlic

You don’t need much, just a clove or two depending on how much you’re making.

5.  Cilantro and Lime

Yes, you need them both.  I cut the leaves of the cilantro in half.  Cut the lime in half and just squeeze half.  Add more to taste from there.

4.  Make Your Own Chips

This might be the most important step!

In a large pan, heat up canola or EVOO, to the point that if you splash water on it, the oil sizzles.  While it’s heating, cut up flour and corn tortillas into strips or triangles. Lay out some paper towels and put some sea salt in a bowl.

Fry up the chips, turning them only once so they’re brown on both sides.  Remove from oil and lay them in a single layer on the towels.  Sprinkle with sea salt. Test out one chip from your first batch to make sure they’re fully cooked and not chewy.  When they’re cool, place in separate bowls if you’re doing corn and flour.

Here’s a shot of the last batch I made for fight night at Kitty’s house. Six people ate the whole bowl!

Tweet this!Tweet this!

My granola recipe

June 11th, 2015 No Comments

My granola company never took off, but I’m still cranking out batches of this stuff and people are always wanting the recipe.

It’s a great summer snack to have in the glovebox instead of bars.  With the nuts and oats, after a handful you’re satisfied until you can get some real food in you.

My recommendation is NOT to mix this with yogurt or milk.  In comparison to other granolas, this blend doesn’t have a lot of sugar, so any addition dilutes the barley-there sweetness.

My Famous Granola

Yields about 9 cups or 3 mason jars.

Preheat oven to 325.

  • 6 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped almonds seeds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Parchment Paper
  • Big baking pans with sides (Glass is best, but metal will do)


Don’t add them altogether, use each bullet as one blend.

  • Dried plums chopped
  • Currants (instead of raisins)
  • Dried Apricot + Hazelnuts
  • Dried and flatted bananas – sliced
  • Pistachios (just the meat)
  • Raw cashews
I didn’t measure any additions.  You just have to make sure not to put in too much.


Line the pans with parchment paper and make sure you have two sides long enough to grab.

Total cooking time varies on what kind of pan you use (metal or glass), what size each pan is, and how they’re placed in the oven.  In other words, you just have to watch it for about 45 minutes.
Sit by the oven and stir it about every 10 minutes to avoid the bottom burning.
When it turns golden brown, pull out a spoonful, let it cool, and try it.  If it’s still chewy, put it back in the oven.
You’ll know when it’s done.
Take the parchment paper out of the pans and let the granola cool flat on the table.

Gift It

Pack it up in mason jars or cute bags and gift it to friends, co-workers, teachers.  Use it for party favors. People love it!

Tweet this!Tweet this!

Peachy suggestions for your summer table

May 28th, 2015 No Comments

Peaches, my favorite fruit, are back in season! And while I love to just devour them straight from the fridge, we should have a little patience and incorporate them into some dishes.  A few of my favorites along with other ideas below.  The best thing about peaches, they don’t need much!


  • Appetizer: served on toast with salty blue cheese
  • Salad: chopped with arugula, avocado, toasted sliced almonds, and a tangy dressing. Protein of your choice!
  • Dinner: Peach chutney over chicken (Recipe is from Cardamon Hill, AMAZING Indian in Atlanta)
  • Dinner: Grilled with grilled shrimp or PORK CHOP!
  • Dinner: Sautéed with my pork tenderloin
  • Side: Grilled or lightly sautéed with green beans, toss with slivered almonds and sherry vinegar (via bon appetite)
  • Dessert: Don’t fuss over cobbler or pie. Roast sliced peaches with butter, lemon juice, cinnamon, and agave. Served with cashew ice cream, sprinkle sea salt. Or with homemade whippedcream. My easy instructions for both here.


Tweet this!Tweet this!

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!

Tweet this!Tweet this!

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


  • 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


  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!
Tweet this!Tweet this!

Breakfast boredom leads to healthy bagel replacement + LA hotspot gourmet version

June 19th, 2014 2 Comments



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.





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

Carbs + Fat + Protein + Deliciousness



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!
Tweet this!Tweet this!

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

Tweet this!Tweet this!