Archives for category: Veggies

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!

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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!!!

cheesy artichoke & spinach dip

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looks good & tastes even better….usually

Very simply this is about the only authentic Persian cuisine I know how to make in my own kitchen, to date. The kabob, which is known as Kabob Digi or Pan-Made Kabobs, are actually quite easy to make and cook. This part of the meal I have actually known how to make for some time now. It was a great entree to make with some rice when I used to attend Cal Poly Pomona and I missed home cooked meals. I never made the tomatoes or cucumber salad back then though.

The kabob can be made with any type of ground meat, I prefer ground beef and this time chose to purchase the fattiest beef available to test it out. Not one of the best ideas I had, I might add. Nonetheless, I am trying anything to make my kabob as tender as possible, so I thought the fat would help.

To make the kabob: combine 1 or 2 lbs of ground meat, 1 large shredded onion including juice, somagh (powdered sumac), yogurt and salt & pepper. Thoroughly combine all ingredients, I mean like dig in with your hands and get dirty kind of combine. You just want to make sure all components are incorporated well together. While you are prepping your onion, heat your pan then add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Once the pan is nice and hot, carefully place the ground meat into the pan, flattening it to about an inch or so in thickness. It should look like a giant hamburger at this point. I like to sprinkle a lot more somagh on top of the meat at this time too. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for about 15-20 mins or so. If you find your pan is too hot and it almost looks like your meat is about to burn, add some water to it.

After it looks like the meat has cooked through a bit, take a flat spatula and make lengthwise cuts of the meat from one end to the other, depending on your desired width, I like to make them about an inch or so. Let the meat cook for another 5-10 mins and very carefully, maybe even¬†using a 2nd spatula, turn each kabob over to cook some more. This can be the¬†trickiest¬†part of the process, but with some practice, you’ll get the hang of it or if your still in the experimenting phase like me, using the fatty meat, plus the added tenderness of the yogurt and onions proved to be a bit of a messy situation and a lot more pieces of kabob than I had originally sectioned off. Trail and error, point taken and remembered for the next batch.

Cook for another 10 mins and wala you have officially prepared some homemade, delicious kabobs. For the cucumber and yogurt salad, I like to use a combination of Greek strained and regular yogurt, Persian cucumbers, walnuts, Sadaf seasonings including yogurt dip mix and dried mint leaves, plus of course some s & p. By all means mix it up a bit by adding more or less. Sometimes along with the walnuts, raisins are added to this salad but I don’t only for the fact that the¬†raisins¬†become too mushy too quickly. Combine, serve and enjoy!

Oh I almost forgot about the tender tomatoes! Ok so while your kabob is cooking and before you start your prep on the yogurt salad, take 1-3 medium sized tomatoes and roughly chop into large chunks. Begin heating a small sauce pan with some oil and water, s & p and a good amount of the somagh. Take 1 onion and chop the same as the tomatoes. Place both veggies into the pan and let simmer on low to medium heat alongside while the kabob is cooking. This is great to add atop the kabobs, have on the side or even on some rice, if you just so happen to make some.

Kabob: C+
Mast-o-Khair (Persian Cucumber & Yogurt Salad): A
Tomatoe: B+

Overall, I have made better kabobs but at least this was edible enough for one day. After I flipped them over, there was plenty of juice, almost too much juice from the meat and oil so I turned up the heat a bit. I walked away for about 5 minutes then started to hear a crackling sound, my kabobs were burning ūüė¶ I quickly turned them over again but the damage was already done, I was way too hungry to even care at this point and luckily I had made the tomatoes and used them as a¬†moisturizer¬†to my meal. Whatever works right! Will be tacking this dish again soon but changing my approach yet again.

 

kitchen culture

over-night marinated, oven roasted & steamed

Making big things happen. Am on a path of change: lifestyle, health, fitness, mind, body, etc…

October is the beginning of brand news. I want to eat better, feel better, look better. Time management is a huge part in the success to health and with a lil bit of trial and error, I will master my plan and get the job done, feeding my belly that is.

However, not just going to stuff my face with anything anymore. Trying to manage my junk food cravings and most importantly remember all good things remain good in moderation.

Made great use of some frozen chicken, last night, and went out and bought some fresh greens and reds to go along with my meal. I marinated the chicken in Italian dressing, soy sauce, whole grain mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, lime juice, garlic & salt n peppa….I guess everything but the kitchen sink but it sure tasted damn good if you ask me!

I roasted some roughly chopped red potatoes with olive oil, thyme, rosemary and garlic…oh yeah I LOVE garlic!!! Other than the fact that I should have better greased my pan, my potatoes came out crunchy & crispy on the outside yet flaky & moist inside.

Adding to the variety, I blanched some asparagus & broccoli in water with a hint of lime juice and salt.

Chicken: A
Potatoes: A-
Veggies: B+

Overall I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this homemade meal after a long hard day of work. Prepping for the future can never come too early. And I’m one gal who like variety & options, this option is getting a big thumbs up but as for the prep time, I give it a big thumbs down. I know it takes time to be healthy but I’m looking on the bright side and FINALLY starting to write and publish this food blog!!

Chew on this or chew on that
Try it once
Anything to make you come back!