Brussel Sprouts

I love veggies, however there are some which I steer clear from when it comes to cooking for fear of cooking a disaster.  This was the case with brussel sprouts for quite some time.  I signed up for the Farm Fresh To You delivery, and in my last box was a pound of brussel sprouts.  In my quest to not throw out any veggies and learn how to cook new ones, I finally summed up the courage to roast brussel sprouts.  I am every so happy I did!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1lb brussel sprouts
  • 1lb sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Salt, pepper (to taste)
  • Dash of cumin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Clean your brussel sprouts, cut the bottom stem and peel away the first layer.  Cut in half or quarters depending on how big they are.  Wash very well to remove any dirt. In a baking dish add the brussel sprouts, cubed sweet potatoes, garlic and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and an every so light sprinkling of cumin.

brussel spourts

Roast for 30-40 min or until all the veggies are tender.  As soon as you bring it out of the oven drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.  My mouth is watering just typing this!  The cumin adds another dimension of flavor and the balsamic adds a sweet & tangy finish.

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Buen Provecho!

Watermelon & Mint

Who would have thought that such a simple addition to fruit could completely change the taste and most likely how you’ll ever eat it!

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INGREDIENTS: 

  • Watermelon, cubed
  • Fresh mint, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Place cubed watermelon in a bowl and sprinkle the mint on top. Sit back and enjoy, yep…it’s that simple and I promise you’ll never look back!

Measurements were left out intentionally because you can make a small bowl or a giant one for a party!

Meal Prep

This week for me is all about meal prepping; staying ahead of the game and focusing on eating healthy. The healthy lunch meal for this week is salmon and salads, lots of omega-3 and the nutrition from the salad. What are some of your healthy meal prep ideas?

Easy Weeknight Shrimp

Shrimp is a very easy and versatile protein choice especially during the week. It cooks quickly and can adapt too many dishes and most importantly, it’s healthy!  The recipe below is just that a quick, simple weeknight shrimp dish. (Adjust the measurements depending on how many you’re feeding).

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 Tsp Old Bay
  • 1 Tsp Onion and herb seasoning (Ms. Dash)
  • 1 Tsp Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

 

Directions:

Drizzle the shrimp with the olive oil and add the remaining ingredients. Allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes, longer if you’d like. Heat a small skillet to low-medium heat and add your shrimp. The shrimp will cook in about 5-7 minutes (a bit longer if you’re using larger shrimp). Enjoy atop white rice (or brown for a healthier option) and a yummy side salad.

Weeknight Shrimp

Tortellini Salad

If you’re looking for a delicious, hearty yet light salad; look no further!  This tortellini salad is sure to wow your guests.  It can be served as a main dish or a side dish to your Italian feast.  The preparation is easy and you can truly add any ingredient you desire.  For this particular recipe I’ll leave measurements out as it’ll depend on the size crowd you’re feeding. 

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Ingredients:

  • Tortellini (I used spinach and 3 cheese blend)
  • Pepperoncini’s
  • Pepperoni, sliced or cubed
  • Heirloom cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • Red onion, finely diced
  • Olives, finely chopped
  • Italian seasoning (use a good quality)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
  • Italian dressing (I used Ken’s)
  • Freshly grated pecorino Romano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil, sliced in strips

 

Directions:

Cook the tortellini as directed on the package, drain and allow to come to room temperature.  Add the pepperoni, onion, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, and splash of dressing.  Mix until combined, add the pepperoncini’s and a splash of olive oil and more dressing.  Add your tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.  Do another taste test and adjust your dressing, salt/pepper and olive oil as needed.  You’ll finish off with the grated pecorino Romano and fresh basil.  This salad shouldn’t be very wet but it should be moist.   Enjoy your delicious and beautiful salad!  

 

Tasty Tips:  Add cooked pancetta for an added crunch or you could add grilled chicken or leave the meat out for a vegetarian option (using spinach tortelllini).  You can also add asparagus, bell peppers, olives, artichokes, the options are truly endless!

Black Beans con Sazon!

Black beans are healthy, low-fat, filling and delicious!  With this simple recipe you’ll be hooked; and what’s best these can be enjoyed atop rice or as black bean soup.  This recipe is quick and chock full of flavor!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 – 15oz cans of black beans
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sofrito (see recipe below)
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • ¼ bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 Sprigs of cilantro
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into your pot and add the onion and, sauté about 2 minutes then add the sofrito and bell peppers.

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Cook until the onions are translucent, then add the beans & fresh cracked black pepper.  Add the cilantro and allow to cook for 15 minutes or so.  Taste the juice and determine if you need salt.

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Sofrito: https://indulgeanddine.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/sofrito/

New Year Goals

When we think about the “New Year” we usually connect it to change; what change we wish to see in ourselves whether they are physical, financial, social etc… Whatever your “change” may be, the biggest one that is promoted is health and fitness.  We see the stores stocked with workout gear and equipment and gym’s offering great enrollment offers.  We begin to tweak our recipes and adjust our eating habits in order to fulfill our goals and achieve what we’ve set-out to accomplish. 

With that in mind, I’m on a quest to find the yummiest, healthiest smoothies both pre and post workout; especially any which the runners out there drink.  I’ve signed up for my first ½ marathon and must have the proper nutrition in order to train and maintain proper energy levels.  Send in all of your smoothie recommendations and suggestions!   

Keep fueling on veggies and lean proteins, set weekly goals and get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.  Keep a journal and track your progress; and most importantly set realistic goals!  We’ll all reach our goals before we know it! 

Bueno Provecho!

Happy New Year!!!

Happy 2014 everyone!  Thank you to all who have registered for email updates and kept track of the blog and its progress!  It means a lot to have a small following, hopefully this year I’ll see the list grow.

2013 finished off great, I celebrated a big birthday in Vegas with my hubby and wonderful friends now it’s back to work and back to reality, vacation is over (for now).  For those of us celebrating Three Kings day or Dia de Los Reyes, hope you’re all enjoying your “roscas” alongside your loved ones.

Cheers to setting and most importantly meeting all the goals you’ve set for 2014!  Focus on each goal one day at a time and be realistic, with yourself and your expectations.

A few of my 2014 goals are:

  1. Be better organized with my weekly meal prepping.
  2. Focus on becoming a healthier person on a regular basis, not only 2 days a week (shame on me).
  3. Post at least 1 recipe or tip every week.
  4. Be more creative with decorating my tablescapes with items we currently own that have been tossed aside…and possibly forgotten.

Raise your glass and toast to a wonderful, fabulous, fit and healthy 2014!  Buen Provecho!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is quickly becoming one of my favorite vegetables! It’s delicious, healthy, and can be used anywhere you would use pasta! The best part is it has only 40 calories and 8 grams of carbs per cup, verses traditional pasta that has 200 calories and 40 grams of carbs per cup! You can be bake, boil, sauté, or even microwave, regardless of which way you choose to prepare, it’s very simple to prepare! Spaghetti squash comes out in strands just as the name indicates “spaghetti.”  Allow your mind to flow and sauté veggies such as onion, zucchini, and spinach and add it to the dish any colorful veggie would make for an eye catching dish.  You could also top it with your favorite meat sauce!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • Olive oil or truffle oil (used in this recipe)
  • Salt & Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet, I prefer to use stoneware for baking, but any bake pan will work.

Scoop the seeds out of the center of the squash and discard.  Drizzle the squash (cut side up) with olive or truffle oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place spaghetti squash cut sides up on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30-45 minutes until a sharp knife or fork can be inserted with only a little resistance.  Remove squash from oven and set aside allowing it to cool enough to be easily handled.

Spaghetti Squash (4)

Using a fork begin scraping the squash out and placing into a bowl.  Top with your desired vegetables, cheese, or meat sauce, and serve warm.

Spaghetti Squash (1)

Tasty Toppings:

Here I topped the squash with left over meat Sauce.

Squash

In this version I used ground Italian sausage and sprinkled freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Penne and Sausage (5)

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes.