Made this ahhhhhhmazing egg bake this morning and I just had to share it!!!

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Started with these ingredients:

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Eggs, veggies including (but not limited to) baby bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, fresh dill and rosemary and Aidel’s brand chicken & apple sausage.

Whisk eggs with desired seasonings. Chop veggies to desired size. MAKE SURE to grease your pans people. You don’t want anything stuck or leftover, especially with this yummy recipe. Combine together eggs w other ingredients and place in a baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 35-50 mins (depends on how well done you like your eggs).

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Let cool for about 10 mins or top off with some cheese and throw it back in the oven at 275 degrees for another 10 minutes or so.

Great pairings for this meal are bacon, avocado, ketchup, sour cream or even some salsa!

Happy baking everyone!

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This recipe is a play on meatball subs.

Baked Italian Meatball Casserole

Start with these:

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Then flavor it up…

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Preheat oven & start your layers…

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Bake, serve & enjoy!

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This was my first attempt at this Pinterest¬†recipe. Although it does look really appetizing, there are a couple of changes I would make next time. First off, I would not recommend using frozen garlic bread because it gets way too mushy too quickly once the sauce goes on. Also the pre-sliced bread (like the one I used) doesn’t help with the sogginess either. Either way, I’d use 2 half loaves of (fresh) bread as my base for the dish.

The other aspect I would change are the meatballs. Instead of using the frozen & pre-seasoned ones, I’d spend the extra few bucks and either make them or buy them fresh from the deli. I’ve tried the frozen meatballs so many times, even the turkey ones, and they just always taste too dry with some added grit to them, yuck!

Either way, give it a try yourself and see what creative casserole you come up with and share ūüôā

A full shopping list of all ingreients can be found here

Original recipe can be found here

Easy. Fast. Delicious.

For an appetizing dinner such as this:

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all you need is:
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I line the dish with butter to make sure my potatoes don’t stick and it also helps maintain their crispy coated exterior.

imageBake at 375 degrees for about 25 mintues. Gently toss potatoes and maybe add a bit more oil/butter if needed, cook for about 35-45 minutes longer.

imageAll the main ingredients plus my daily s&p seasonings.

imageCombine all ingredients: sweet italian sausage, onion, 1 egg, desired pasta sauce, bread crumbs, zucchini squash

imageScrap out the centers of the squash.

imageFill with sausage stuffing.

imageBake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Top with cheese and bake until cheese is all melted (about 5-8 minutes).

imageToasted pine nut couscous with cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon zest & juice, parsley paste and s&p.

Prep. Plate. Enjoy!

For a full shopping list of ingredients, go here:

Sausage Zucchini Boats

Colorful Couscous

Roasted Potatoes

 

Original zucchini boat recipe from Pinterest can be found here

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dinner for the night included earthy, nutty, crunchy for me & the buff for him

Leafy. Crunchy. Colorful. Bountiful. Nutritious. Palate pleasing. A salad must hit all these notes to complete its full potential.

3 times in one week….I’d say I’m addicted to this new craze of Simply Salad DTLA. I originally found them on yelp while looking for something quick and healthy to eat while I was working.

Like many places in downtown LA, this hidden gem is no exception when it comes to catering to people on-the-go, especially when calling to place your order. But even if you want to check out all the ingredients and¬†accouterments this salad haven offers, like I wanted to, try to have some sort of idea of your palette cravings, which I didn’t, in order to narrow down and make a decision, which took me 20 mintues alone. Now that I’ve been there multiple times and have assured their accuracy and quality, I just call in my order.

This time around I opted for the Earthy, Nutty, Crunchy (ENT) and was more than satisfied with this salad choice. It includes a mixture of lettuces, tofu, beets, edamame, artichoke hearts, sunflower seeds, croutons, grilled corn with pomegranate vinaigrette. Already fully loaded, I know, but there was 1 item still missing; yes to cheese please, always!!! Goat cheese that is (don’t judge).

Its sweet, salty and everything in between. Although the dressing doesn’t look like a typical vinaigrette, it stays true to its pomegranate flavor and adds a nice creamy tanginess without overpowering the rest of the ingredients. This mixture of flavors beats a greasy cheeseburger on any day and I don’t have to worry about the all to familiar food coma either. Oh AND they can make any salad into a wrap too!! What more do you want?! Fine they offer freshly made lemonade, teas and dessert too ūüôā

Simply Salad offers over 65+ toppings and 25+ dressings so your combo options are basically endless.
I. Must. Try. Them. All. And. You. Should. Too!

Extra Tip: When I order my salads, I usually ask for the dressing on the side to help keep the salad crisp and fresh for as long as possible on the drive home from work. And when I get home, I pop the salad in the fridge for about 20 minutes and then it’s chow time! Meaning, you don’t have to live right next to your fav restaurants in order to enjoy them, you just have to be more mindful & cautious when placing an order.

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biscuits n gravy

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steak bits n more

Gotta give it to Pacific Diner in San Pedro for their consistently amazing food. Yeah there may be no close parking, yeah there may be a wait, yeah it may take awhile to have that first scrumptious bite……but it’s SO worth it!!

Waited about 20 mintues on a Sunday morning prime time around 11am. Not bad at all.

Have conveniently opted for biscuits n gravy as my alloted appetizer every time I eat here now. Today’s biscuits were the freshest, most pillowly biscuits I’ve ever devoured here and definitely a great choice starter.

My main meal was very loaded to say the least. Steak bits as a usual but I added some new elements, some I liked, others not so much. Instead of potatoes, I got saut√©ed veggies thinking it would add to the dish, but it was just too much substance for my liking. Although the veggies were tasty & I liked the variety. My scrambled eggs weren’t as appealing as I had originally hoped either. I was trying to be adventerous with a different flavor of added cream cheese and green onions cooked with the eggs, but it sounded better than it tasted. I like my eggs more on the ‘well done’ side and that can’t really happen when your cooking scrambled eggs and cream cheese.

The best elements of the dish were the bits, sans mushrooms, the bacon, the tortillas and the cottage cheese. Oh and of course the fresh squeezed oj, yum!

Overall this was a great meal with awesome service and I can’t wait to come back again and again and again!

A quick and super simple treat to make all the daddy’s and grandaddy’s out there. Happy Father’s Day!!!

Whipped Strawberry Oreo Pie

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flavor variations of this pie are endless

First you will need:

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easy list of ingredients to purchase

Prep time:

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1st layer


Freeze the pie tin & these strawberries beforehand to jump start the freezing process.

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main layer of pie: combine smashed strawberries, lemon juice, cool whip & condensed milk

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2nd layer done


Freeze until firm, at least 2-3 hours

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decorating time, again options of this layer are endless

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Father's Day Whipped Strawberry Oreo Pie complete!


Although I could have used another 2 hours to freeze this pie, still turned out looking delicious sans the writing, don’t judge.

I’ve been making this recipe for years but this was my first attempt with using a pre-made crust versus my own. Time was of the essence. Turned out better than expected.

Recipe & all ingredients can be found here

You can find the original version of this recipe here

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So now that Thanksgiving is officially over, it’s time to set things into motion, not just now but for good. I’m tired of fast food, I’m tired of frozen dinners, I’m tired of being broke because of mindless eating habits, but most of all, I’m simply tired of being tired dammit!!

I want change, inside and out, I want a new lean, healthy, fit, toned, sexy & small body and really, who’s going to stop me? I dare you to even try. Step by step, inch by inch, pound by pound, this WILL happen!

I’m putting this out there because I have nothing to lose but everything to gain, including muscle mass of course. It’s been a few months now that I’ve signed up as a coach with BeachBody and its about time I take advantage of all the resources, tools and most importantly, the accountability groups set in place already to help people reach their fitness goals. (If you don’t know what BeachBody is or have never heard of it before, it’s the company that created workout programs such as P90x, Hip Hop Abs and Brazilian Butt Lift.)

I’m not saying this to try to sell you on something. I’m not asking you to join, pay or even commit, those are all decisions I have made and you’ll have to do the same for yourself, one day. All I do ask is that you continue reading and commenting on this journey of mine. I’m holding myself accountable and could use any encouragement, tips, hints or recipes along the way. (questions are welcome too)

NO MORE EXCUSES is my new motto. I’ve made my decision and have begun my commitment towards a new and healthier life. As you can see in the picture, my fridge doesn’t contain ALL healthy ingredients, I should have included a pic of the freezer lol, just kidding…obviously I just got back from the market and you can see that most of the items I purchased were on the healthy scale.

My point is I’m trying to make conscious decisions that will help me with my goals and I feel once I can do this consistently, it will become second nature to me. I know this will take time, like all ingrained habits are, but I know it will all be worth it in the end.

I know everyone waits til the holidays are over to start their new year diets, I’m just trying to be a step ahead of the game this year and my proof will be in my progress with pictures and posts. Good luck to me and everyone else out there setting and achieving whatever goals they make for themselves, JUST DO IT!!!

easy to eat & simply sweet mango with pomegranate

As the most wonderful time of the year quickly approaches, seemingly much sooner every year, our healthy and bountiful appetites follow right along. The smell of fresh baked pies, well fresh anything pretty much entices us, stares at us and screams, “eat me!!” And every year, whether I, or you, have been actively watching your figure, or lack there of, ¬†I ask myself, “what better way is there to feed my soul than through a plate of leftovers, right?” Well at least I have been under this¬†misconstrued¬†assumption for the past 28 years, ok lets say 26 years of being able to indulge in solid foods.

My point is not to deter you or myself from escaping this inevitable feast of all feasts no matter what culture you partake in. My point is to ask you and myself why? Pretty simple question. Why must I gorge my face with all these¬†delectable¬†delights and not be able to enjoy the satisfaction of just one helping, serving, plate, etc. I think its almost scary to think about limiting holiday¬†consumption, at least¬†that’s¬†the first thing that pops into my mind. Because whether I have been actively working out all year long, which we pretty much all know I have not, who cares if I pack on another 5 pounds because Christmas is right around the corner too and how will a few more pounds really matter because come Janurary 1, all the overeating, snacking and binge eating comes to a complete¬†halt anyways. Our mindset shifts into reset mode and we try beginning this cycle all over again for about the first 2 weeks of the year, maybe again around your birthday and possibly a few other “special dates” set around the year.

Ok ok my other point of this post is to just¬†throw¬†this out there, do with it what you want, but just manifesting and spreading the thoughts of simple satisfactions in the form of food. Basically, I’ve already asked my mom to make all her normal dishes, side dishes, desserts and then some and I’m not going to change that. What I am attempting to change is the way I look at my meals as a whole, not just around the holidays in particular either. I want to gravitate towards using food as fuel and nourishment, its actual intention, rather than savagely feasting on every and anything placed in front of me. I might even go as far as looking up altered (healthy) recipes of some of my favorite fixings and perhaps print them out accidentally leaving them on my mom’s grocery list. I said perhaps but no promises have been¬†specifically¬†stated here. I know its all about portion control, your mindset and the ability to control every ounce of your body to NOT eat that third helping of the herbed giblet stuffing, but lets face it, I’m no where near that point yet.

I have a problem and its called food. I’m admitting I have an addiction to flavorful food. I will overcome this, not today, not tomorrow, and certainly not next week whilst helping myself to turkey¬†traditions. My goal is to slowly but surely add a bountiful of healthy without sacrificing flavor. Game on and good luck to us all!

**Note: I will still write a few posts about delicious and unhealthy foods which I have consumed most recently. The goal from now on though is to order and or try to create meals that as a whole are healthy and delicious but most importantly, still packed with flavor, not calories.

cheesy artichoke & spinach dip

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toad en la holes

spiced & sweet fruitage

Weekends….a time for relaxation, catching up on some household chores, running errands, sleeping, watching endless amounts of tv, or in my case, actually having enough time to prepare myself a decent breakfast!! Something not¬†completely¬†frozen out of a box, something not in a liquid protein shake form, something¬†that’s¬†not ‘on the go or easy enough to scarf down in my car!’ Yes, I could have occupied my time with a million other things on my to-do list, sleeping being at the very top, but I happened to have some fresh and unexpired ingredients I thought I’d put to good use.

I’ve seen pictures of this thing called “toad in the hole” plenty of times but never really understood what the concept behind it was let alone how to go about cooking it. After some quick research, I found this breakfast item is a popular staple in London consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter served up with some veggies and gravy, or basically an inside out version of what we call ‘pigs in a blanket.’ Well¬†that’s¬†one form of this breakfast bite which I was not familiar with. The pictures that caught my eye included one egg literally cooked inside a piece of bread where a round shaped hole was made. And¬†that’s¬†the version I decided to replicate.

I had to really prep myself before I actually started to make this just because I knew things would move along quickly once my pan was hot. Oh and I’m a huge fan of over hard yolks, even when ordering eggs benedict,¬†I ask them to cook the eggs a bit longer. I just hate when the mucousy membrane of the yolk smears all over my plate and I’m unable to sop it all up on toast or potatoes. So I put a bit of butter in the pan, cut holes in the bread with a glass cup, buttered the toast as if making a grilled cheese sandwich and placed the toast in the pan. Cracking an egg into it, I let the melted butter and pan work its magic. I got a little concerned when I noticed the eggs sticking to the pan so I added another spoonful of butter just to make sure I wasn’t about to eat any sort of burnt toast.

All the while this was cooking, I had some frozen hash browns browning and crisping up in another pan. My morning meal just got a little easier to make.¬†To one piece of toast, I added some bacon bits and¬†cheddar¬†cheese on top. I just didn’t know how this was all going to pan out, but in retrospect, I shouldn’t have¬†shied¬†away from loading up both eggs. I kept turning the toast ensuring the eggs became the exact consistency I wanted, hard and cooked thoroughly.

I needed to add a lil bit of healthy to this easy. I have recently discovered my new FAVORITE yogurt brand Fage, pronounced fa-yeh, which is an all natural¬†Greek¬†strained yogurt. I love this stuff!!! Its thick and creamy consistency is a cross between sour cream and regular yogurt, but I have always been a big fan of strained yogurt. Now I don’t have to go specifically to the Persian markets to find it which is even more awesome! More recently, I have been experimenting with adding¬†different¬†ingredients to this yogurt and one great combo, especially for a power/healthy breakfast, are some sliced peaches, yogurt and¬†cinnamon.¬† Of course you can alter your yogurt to your desired preference but I’m telling ya, this combo can’t be beat. If I wanted to splurge a bit more, I would have added some sugar to this too but the sweetness of the peaches from the can were just enough to keep me from going overboard.

Toad in the Hole: B-, one of my eggs did crack, that was the egg I loaded with bacon bits and cheese for picture purposes only lol, wish I had some bigger pieces of bread
Healthy Helping: A-, could have used some granola or even another type of fruit mixed into the yogurt
Overall Breakfast: B, even though I used bacon bits, could have used some slices of bacon or even a couple sausage links, the hash browns were ok but will attempt them from scratch next time, frozen food just doesn’t taste the same once you’ve taken the time to know how things should really taste, bummer to my pocketbook, yummers to my mouth

Quick and easy meal prep is what everyone is talking about nowadays, but when you have the time, quick and easy just makes it all the more better to be able to make your meal faster leaving you more time to do other things you equally love, like for example shopping, getting your nails done or my favorite, sleeping!