Branching out

Posted on June 2, 2017. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

If you know me, you know I can’t STAND cooked spinach. To me, it looks and smells like a dead alien life form. I keep trying to eat it, but every time I try, it’s kinda mushy.

That being said, only eating my spinach salads every day can get a little boring. Today I wanted eggs, but since I hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet, I didn’t have a ton of options. What I did have was some kale, spinach, and beans. I decide to branch out and actually saute the kale and spinach in a tahini tumeric dressing.

I used a lot more kale than spinach; the kale doesn’t doesn’t cook down the same way as the spinach does, so it still had some crunch to it. I was surprised, I actually couldn’t tell the spinach was even in there. Adding the runny eggs on top helped even more.

This recipe is very easy, full of fiber, protein, vitamins A, and K. The dressing I used has been my new salad dressing, so you can make a lot and use it on more than just this dish.

Sauteed Spinach, Kale and Black beans topped with Runny Eggs and Sriracha

Here’s what to get from the store:

Apple Cider Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Olive Oil
White Vinegar
Lemon Juice
Garlic Chili Sauce
Black Beans

Tumeric Tahini Dressing
(Note, I didn’t measure anything making this, so use your best judgement)

2 tbsp Tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
Tumeric, cayanne, pepper, paprika

  1. In your blender (or a container you can use an immersion blender in) put all of the ingredients. Blend until combined. Taste to adjust seasoning.

Runny Eggs Over Spinach and Kale

2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cup chopped kale
1 cup spinach
4 tbsp black beans
Salt, Pepper
Tumeric Tahini Dressing
2 eggs, over easy

  1. In a saute pan, saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the kale and spinach, cook until wilted.
  2. Add the black beans and the dressing, saute until warmed through. Serve topped with 2 runny eggs and sriracha.

I recently started a new job at a restaurant that is the complete opposite of every other place I’ve ever worked. It focuses on good for you food and any dietary restrictions a person can have. It’s good because I won’t be afraid to eat there (even though I won’t because bringing food from home is cheaper) and it inspired me to make the new salad dressing. I realized I had been using the same dressing for about 3 years, there’s nothing wrong with changing things up.

I hadn’t been able to keep up with my exercises recently because of all the training at the new job, and because of that, my whole body hurts. It’s kinda cool though, I missed that feeling a little bit.

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Posted on September 15, 2016. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

I bring my salad to work for a few reasons, 1: I can’t eat deep dish every day, and 2: I actually really like salads. Pretty much every time I eat one behind the bar (which is often, I can’t just leave the bar to eat a meal) someone comments on it. My response is always along the same line “I didn’t get this figure eating deeps dish” or “I worked hard on this, I want to keep it” Most of the time I get laughs. Then I remembered, there are very few people in my life, especially not current customers, who knew me when I was bigger.

In fact, there aren’t too many people in my life from my past anyway. There’s my family, obvisouly, my friends Phil, Jason, Sally and Eric. And the last 3 have only really known me about 8 years. Phil’s known me for 16. But to most people, this is how I look now. And I’m really proud of that. The way I got to be this way was from eating right, practicing my yoga, and finding balance.

Yoga helped me find balance, really. I used to have no energy, bad body image and was just over all depressed. Yoga and the right food helped me find that. I really hope that everyone I know can find their balance and become the best version of themselves they can be, because what is life if you’re not the most awesome version of yourself?

That being said, having balance means not eating the same green smoothie and spinach salad every day. It can get boring. The other day before I went to the store, I had toast in my mind. I don’t normally have bread at home, but I’ve come to notice if I have a craving, I should just fulfill it.

Avocado toast is something that has been around for a while now. The idea is to have a filling meal with some healthy fat. I wanted to make it a little more healthy, with added protein. When you don’t eat a lot of meat like I do, you do need to add extra protein into your diet to get muscles.

This is an easy recipe, all I did was mix kale, black beans and an avocado, put it on some toast, and added a fried egg. This doesn’t need  a real recipe, just a picture. The real recipe will come later tonight or tomorrow with the butternut squash and sweet potato soup I have going.

Avocado Toast with Kale, Black Beans and a Fried Egg

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Is that corn?

Posted on September 6, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

One day at work, one of my coworkers came up to me and said “Hey, call David over here and ask him, is this corn?” Ever since then, we’ve been throwing bad corn puns back and forth at each other. They’re awful and I love it.

Because of that, I’ve been thinking about corn recipes recently. Ok, I actually had a cold or something over the weekend and I wanted a squash soup, but it’s only about 1000 degrees outside so soup was a no go. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to make while walking around Aldi and saw some great zucchini right next to some corn cobs and decided to do a warm salad. I really just wanted something simple, I was starving after my excersice and that seemed like the easiest and healthiest thing to make.

This recipe is very easy, and it’s 100% vegan. It barely takes any time at all and it will fill you up.

Roasted Veggie Salad with Quiona and Kale

Here’s what to get from the store:

Corn on the cob
Black Beans

Roasted Veggie and Quiona Salad

1 zucchini, sliced
1 cob of corn, with the corn taken off
5 florets of fresh broccoli6-10 pieces of asparagus, depending on size, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup cooked quiona
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/2 cup diced kale
Salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika

  1. On a cookie sheet with sides or a 9 x 10 pan, place the zucchini, corn (an easy way to cut it off the cob is to place an upside down bowl in another bowl and cut down the sides), broccoli, asparagus and broccoli. Cover it all in a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, stirring about half way through.
  2. When the veggies are done roasting, place them in a saute pan with the quinoa and black beans. Saute with more seasoning until the beans are warm. Remove from heat and add the kale to wilt it. Serve topped with a diced Roma tomato.

I’ve been here for a little over a month, and I haven’t really hung out with as many people as I thought I was going to. So I’ve been spending a lot more time at home than I thought. It’s not ideal, but I’m dealing with it. Making friends when you’re an adult is hard.

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Drink your veggies!

Posted on April 1, 2016. Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

When I got back from vacation, I was a little mad I’d gained a few pounds. We moved around as much as I always did, but my eating habits weren’t the same, and I could tell the difference. I knew I had to eat a lot more veggies. I also came home to a fridge with just spinach and some juices and no time for grocery shopping (since I’m a psycho and went right back to work).

So, pretty much every day since I got back, I’ve had a spinach and banana smoothie to start out the day. I know, I know, it sounds gross. But, here’s the great thing about raw spinach; it has almost no flavor when it’s blended.

I tried to make this smoothie as nutritionally balanced as possible. It only takes a few minutes to make, but it will give you the boost of energy you need to get through a workout or your morning. Warning though: this is also SUPER full of fiber. If your diet isn’t full of fiber, be careful. (I also didn’t measure anything, so…sorry)

Spinach and Banana Smoothie

Here’s what to get from the store:

Flax Seeds
Chia Seeds
Plain Greek Yogurt
Fortified OJ
Cashew Milk

Banana and Spinach Smoothie

1 banana
Chia and Flax Seeds
Few tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
Equal Parts OJ and Cashew Milk
Handfuls Spinach and Kale

  1. Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Add more spinach if you like.

I’ve come to really look forward to my daily yoga. It’s the one thing that slows me down. If you know me, you know I’m always moving quickly. Thanks to the breathing and having to focus, I actually am forced to slow down, it’s actually really nice.

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One more time!

Posted on May 31, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , |

I still had some shrimp left over from my dinners earlier on in the week and I had to use it soon or else it would go bad. The last thing I wanted to do was throw away a bunch of shrimp. I hadn’t had a chance for a few days; went to lunch and dinner on Friday and I worked all day yesterday. But, today I had a chance. I had been thinking about a quiona bowl all week; stuff like that is great before a long shift at work because it’s full of fiber so it fills you up for a long time.

This recipe uses a few of the left overs from earlier on in the week, and a few new things, but if you’ve been following my recipes for a while, you should almost have everything you need.

Grilled Shrimp over Curry Spiced Quiona

Curry spiced Shrimp Quiona Bowl

1 cup quiona
Shrimp in marinade
2 jalapeno, de seeded and diced
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp diced onion
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
Salt, pepper, paprika, tumeric, curry powder, cinnamon

  1. Soak the quiona in cool water about 15 minutes than bring to a bowl and cook like normal.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a pan without oil until browned, set aside.
  3. Add oil to the pan and saute the onions until translucent; add the tomatoes, jalapeno, salt, pepper and paprika. Saute for a few minutes then add the left over shrimp and marinade. Cook for a bit then add some flour to thicken the sauce.
  4. Once the quiona is done, add the pine nuts, kale and the seasonings except for the paprika. Stir until the kale is wilted.
  5. When the sauce is thickened, serve the shrimp over the quiona.

This weather is exhausting me. I had thought the roller coaster weather had stopped. Yesterday I had to work all day and hadn’t brought a jacket for after work. I walked out to 45 degree weather and rain. It’s almost June, it’s pretty frustrating. I’m just lucky I don’t have seasonal allergies like a lot of my friends.

I turn 30 in a little over a month and I’m really excited. My 20s were a mix of ups and downs, but I have a feeling my 30s are going to be pretty fantastic; I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

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Baby it’s….March…but..there’s…snow….?

Posted on March 24, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , , , |

The thing about the midwest is that when you think the snow is gone…it’s really not. Last week at this time it was 70 degrees. I took a walk, my windows were open. Today? There was a foot of snow on my car and it’s about 25 degrees. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 50. Yea, makes no sense, but we deal with it.

Not going to lie, I had planned on making a soup today no matter what, I found it on pinterest and had to try it. The stupid weather just added to my need for good soup. That, and I’m a little congested and whenever I’m not feeling 100%, I want potato soup. But, this is not any normal potato soup, it’s sweet potato soup.

Sweet potatoes are hard to see as a savory vegetable because they are just so sweet. The recipe I found only added paprika and hot sauce to the soup, but it wasn’t enough. I ended up adding a bit of Indian spices and they work very well in this soup. I also went slightly (only slightly) overboard and decided to make home made cheezeit’s instead of croutons the original recipe suggested. What’s better than a crispy cheese cracker on top of a thick soup?

This soup feel very unhealthy because it is so creamy and decadent. But, it’s not that bad. The only bad thing for you is half and half, but there’s only a small amount in this recipe. The rest is vegetables; sweet potatoes and carrots are full of beta carotene which is great for you. I added kale and my siracha yogurt cream for fiber and protein.

The only problem I had with this recipe is that I don’t have a full blender so blending everything took a while. But, everything went quick besides that. It makes quite a lot so it’s good for throwing in the freezer for the actual winter.

Sweet Poato Soup with Kale, Siracha Yogurt and Homemade Cheezits

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet potatoes
Vegetable broth
Half and half
Sharp Cheddar

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
(Based off a recipe from: A Southern Soul)

3-4 sweet potatoes – scrubbed and sliced
2 carrots – scrubbed and cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves – peeled
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon paprika
Cumin, Cayenne, Tumeric, Mustard powder,
1 cup half & half

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place sweet potatoes, carrots & garlic on a sheet tray.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat.
  3. Roast vegetables in oven approximated 25 minutes or until golden brown and fork tender.
  4. Place roasted vegetables in blender along with chicken stock, paprika adding a dash or two of hot sauce.
  5. Blend until very smooth – you can also use a blender, immersion blender or food processor – whatever you have.
  6. Pour into a medium size stock pot and place on medium low heat setting.
  7. Add half & half as soup warms.  Taste and adjust seasonings.
  8. Serve with home made cheezeits, kale and siracha cream.

Homemade Cheezits
(From Brown Eyed Baker)

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cheese, butter, and salt on low speed until combined. Add the flour and mix on low until pebbly. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the water and mix as the dough forms a ball. If needed, add the additional tablespoon of water a little at a time until the dough forms. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into a very thin 10×12-inch rectangle (the dough should be no more than ⅛-inch high). Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut the rectangles into 1-inch squares, then transfer them to the baking sheets.

3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until puffed and browning at the edges. Immediately move the crackers to wire racks to cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

There’s nothing wrong with taking time for yourself. If I get Monday off, that day is just for me, I do what I want. Spoiling yourself (or just doing what you need to do) is a healthy thing if done every once in a while. Who knows what will happen to your confidence.

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Crunch Crunch Crunch

Posted on February 13, 2015. Filed under: Appitizers | Tags: |

If you’ve ever had a few drinks with me you know I LOVE crunchy food with my drinks. Why? Who knows, I just like the crunch factor it seems. I’ve been wanting to try kale chips for a while, but if you’re like me, you don’t want to spend $6 on a small container when kale is less than a dollar a pound at most grocery stores. Last night after a Lagunitas IPA, I decided to try to make them myself. I burned my first batch (kind of, my oven is insane) so I decided to make some more today to add to my pepper bean soup that I had defrosted. While the flavor was there, they got mushy in my soup. I think if I made them again I would use them as a crunch factor on a sandwich or just eat them by themselves.

This recipe is very easy and very customizable on flavor. My only advice on this recipe is to keep an eye them in your oven, mine always seems to be hotter than I set it so things cook much faster.

Here’s what to get from the store:


Crunch Kale Chips

Olive OilSeasoning of choice

  1. Take the stems out of your kale and leave the leaves pretty big. Mix with olive oil and your favorite seasonings.
  2. Bake in a 275 degree oven on a cookie sheet for about 15-20 minutes, or until crispy.

This is a good alternative if you want something crispy to eat and despite the amount of fiber it’s not really that filling.

I started doing yoga again, and for someone who has a job on her feet, it’s perfect for me. I suggest this type of exercise for anyone who is a beginner. It helps you stretch out and build your muscles at the same time, and you may not even notice you’re doing it. I took a yoga class my last semester in college to fill out my schedule and it was a great decision. Not only did it help me get in great shape, it actually slowed down my normally quick moving brain.  There are hundreds of videos on youtube to help get you started, if you don’t want a class. I suggest hatha flow because that’s what I did in school.  Pairing healthy eating with some exercise, even light, will help you feel better.

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Now…what do I do with this?

Posted on February 11, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , |

Many times I’ll go to the store and buy a fruit or veggie, get it home and think “Wait, why did I buy this?” This week it was zucchini. I just remember being super excited for zucchini…but that was it. I had vague ideas of making crispy zucchini sticks with a dip, but I didn’t get anything to make the dip and I didn’t feel like going to the store again.

For Thanksgiving I had made a roasted butternut squash that was a big hit, so I figured, why not do that with zucchini? This recipe is very simple and would make either a good side dish or a main meal, like I’m using it for.

Here’s what to get from the store:

Mozzerella Cheese, shredded


Baked Zucchini and Asparagus

4 zucchini
1/2 bunch asparagus
salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, tumeric, curry powder1 cup panko
1/4 cup mozzarella
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chooped

  1. Use your mandolin or a knife to cut the zucchini into 1/4 in slices. Cut the asparagus into quarters, discarding the woody ends. Toss in salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and olive oil until evenly coated. Put into oiled 8 x 8 baking pan.
  2. Make the topping: mix panko, mozzrella, kale (shredded) and garlic with the seasonings and olive oil until the panko starts to slightly stick together. Add to the top of the zucchini mixture.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the topping has browned.

This recipe is very light but will fill you up at the same time. It has a tiny bit of spice, but it can be adjusted by leaving out the tumeric and curry powder, if you like.

Make sure to make this recipe your own, add some different spices to change the flavor a little, have fun with it! Half of the joy of cooking is the experimentation with flavors. This will also help your creative juices get going and may lead to other awesome tasting things!

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Still Hungry!

Posted on January 18, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , |

Something that happens when you start eating healthy is that your metabolism speeds up. It may take a while for that to happen, but you’ll know when it does. I used to eat my large salad, get full and then be able to work a full shift or run a full show and be fine. Now, I eat the salad and about four hours later I’m STARVING. That’s what happens, the body gets used to getting good fuel it goes through it very quickly. The trick is to stay on track with eating healthy when you suddenly use up what you’ve already eaten. This week I ended up having McDonald’s, which was a terrible idea even if it was just a grilled chicken wrap.

I was on Pinterest last night during my show and  came across some quiona and kale patties and thought, why not? There’s a decent amount of fiber in those, maybe I’ll fill up enough and not burn through everything. We’ll see, they’re yummy, that’s for sure.

Kale Quiona Patties

Here’s what to get from the store: (remember, if you shopped earlier this week, you should have quiona)

Red onion
Sour Cream

Kale and Quiona Patties
(Based off Making it With Danielle)

1 cup quinoa
5-6 large kale leaves
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup  grated montery jack cheese
1 tbsp chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lemon (both the zest and juice)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
6 tbsp safflower or vegetable oil (divided, plus more for serving)

Siracha sour cream

1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp siracha
Cayanne Pepper, black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 drops of lemon juice
1 drop ground mustard

  1. Rinse quinoa and then combine it in a medium saucepan with two cups water. Let it soak for about 15 minutes, bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer and put the top on the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove the lid, fluff with a fork and let come to room temp.
  2. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, the kale pieces, eggs, cheese, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, cilantro or parsley, the zest from 1/2 a lemon and the panko.  Use your hands to combine well. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil over medium heat in a high sided skillet. While that’s heating up, form your patties.
  3. Cook on both sides until browned.
  4. Make your cream; mix everything together. Serve on top of the patties as a sandwich or without the bread.

This recipe makes a lot, so feel free to cut it in half or so. I made them into a sandwich with a slice of cheese and the cream on toasted bread. This is something that is healthy but doesn’t feel as healthy as it is. Quiona is supposed to be a super food, but I’m not 100% sure on if that’s even a thing.

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What are you afraid of?

Posted on January 13, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , , , |

Everyone I know has some food they just won’t eat. For a lot of my friends, it’s tomato. They say the texture is weird. I don’t know, I think texture of food is important, but I love tomatoes. There were a lot of foods I was afraid to try for the longest time. Two of them being asparagus and Brussels sprouts. When you’re growing up, those two veggies are almost infamous. Not so much for me, mainly because my mom would refuse to make them because SHE didn’t like them. I get it, in a way. For a lot of people, both of those things were just boiled and that was it. Boiled veggies are almost never good. They get mushy, they have no flavor, and sometimes they smell.

This week’s healthy dish includes Brussels sprouts. I decided to try them after watching an episode of Chopped where it was a basket ingredient. Most of the chefs sauteed them instead of boiling them, and that made total sense. Sauteing something gives it more of an ability to soak up flavor.

This week’s shopping list seems like it’s a little expensive, but quite a few of these things can last for a long time, so think value. Here’s what to get:

Quiona (white or red, I mixed for this recipe)
Sweet Potato
Brussels Sprouts, half a pound or so, depending on size (They’re bigger this time of year)
Curry Powder
Worcestershire Sauce
Bunch of Kale

Sauteed Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts

1/2 sweet potato, diced
5 large Brussels Sprouts, quartered
1 cup quiona
Salt, pepper, tumeric, curry powder, cayanne pepper
4 cloves Garlic
1 tbsp chopped red onion
Worcestershire Sauce

  1. Make sure you’ve prepped everything first, this will help you, I promise.Start the quiona, it cooks like rice, just boil it in salted water. It will start to split a little bit like small seeds do, but will not puff up like rice.
  2. Add the sweet potato and sprouts to a hot skillet with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the potatoes slightly brown and the sprouts turn a bright green. Add a little more oil to the pan, then the garlic and onions. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, add a few dashes of the Worcestershire.
  3. The quiona should be done by now, drain some of the water but reserve some. Add the quiona and the rest of the water to the veggies with some more Worcestershire and remaining spices. Let the liquid cook down into a sauce. Serve on a bed of uncooked kale.

This recipe doesn’t seem to make a ton, but it is very filling. Brussels sprouts are a veggie full of fiber, so they are perfect for a stick to your ribs meal in the winter when it’s cold.

I’m going to leave you with these words of advice: you don’t have to like everything you try, but you should try things that scare you; you have no idea what you like or dislike until you try it.

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