Snap Out Of The Recipe Rut

When the mood strikes me to cook, get out of my kitchen!  Occasionally I get tired of eating the same food and have the time to try something new.

Sunday was the case. I cooked roasted peppers, quinoa stuffed peppers, brussels sprouts, broccoli, sea scallops, a small piece of salmon, baked drum sticks (for my family), center cut pork loin (for me), and plain oven baked sweet potatoes (for me).  Lol!  Was in the kitchen from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  On the brighter side- By 7:00 p.m., my meal prep was completed for the week.  High 5!!

If you’re stuck in a recipe rut, I don’t have the answers, but Pinterest does… at least for me.  On Pinterest, I can find everything, so if you’re stuck, just search a favorite ingredient like avocado, quinoa, yams, rice, or whatever you’re into.

How do I go about selecting a new recipe? I look for:

  • a nutritious recipe or at least one I can change & make healthier
  • a recipe that has at least one or two main ingredients that I favor
  • an attractive dish; something that is pretty to look at
  • prep time – How much time do I have to spend cooking and how much time do I want to spend on cooking the dish
  • unconventional usage of an ingredient

Here are few of my favorites:

Recently I tried this Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

red stuffed pepper

Stuffed pepper before baking

yellow stuffed pepper

After baking. See what I mean about looking pretty?  How could you not want to eat something so colorful and appetizing?!

To make food interesting, sometimes it’s just a matter of preparing the food in a different way or swapping out ingredients to infuse the dish with a new flavor.

I now favor my broccoli roasted with fresh garlic and olive oil. I‘ve fallen in love with it oven cooked, plus it is less likely to overcook in the oven than stove top. This method is no fuss, quick, nutritious, and delish!  Once you go “oven style,” you won’t go back!  ūüôā

This Caribbean Salad is beautiful!  I can’t wait to try this one!!

Image & recipe courtesy of bestrecipes.com

Image & recipe courtesy of bestrecipes.com

Lastly, be open to try new foods.  I’m eating food that I didn’t know existed a few years ago.

One of my favorite easy go to is baked spaghetti squash.  First of all, it’s no fuss cooking. Second, it’s mild in flavor so you can mix it with just about anything.  Third, it’s like eating FREE FOOD!!  Lol!

1 Serving ( 250 ml/ 1 cup) of Spaghetti Squash is 33 calories and only 5 grams of calories from fat!

Protein:  .6g

Fat:         .6g

Carbs:    6.9g

Come on!!  Why wouldn’t you eat this!  Add grilled shrimp, salmon, sea scallops, or whatever else you chose and you’ll have the most delightful meal!

Wait one more!! I don’t eat ice cream and haven’t for many years now.  Recently I tried a new recipe and Lawd!!   I’m in trouble!!

I couldn’t wait for my “Healthy” ice-cream to completely freeze, but it was OUTSTANDING!!  My version of chocolate ice-cream is from, where else but Pinterest.  I ran out of peanut butter, so I added a two teaspoons of the coconut milk.  There’s a lot of fat in the coconut milk. 

  

Delicious!!  ūüôā 

I hope that I’ve inspired you to try and to seek out new recipes.   If you are on a journey to improve your lifestyle by getting fit and eating smarter replacing your old recipes with cleaner and more nutritious ones is an excellent first step.

Be encouraged and make it a fabulous day! ūüôā


Enjoying Fresh Produce At The Jersey Shore

Living at the Jersey Shore, The Garden State in the summer has perks. We‚Äôre not called the Garden State for nothing. ¬†According to NJ’s official web page,¬†New Jersey is home to more than 9,071 farmers, covering 715,057 acres of farmland.¬†

Roadside veggie and fruit stands are plentiful. Nearly every rural road has at least one or more aged wooden stands filled with make shift shelves that are covered with baskets full of fresh produce.

The locals know where to find them, but out of towners’ are often surprised and make emergency stops to get it on the action.

Sweet corn, pretty Jersey tomatoes, plump blue berries, sweet and juicy peaches, squash, and zucchini are some of my summer favorites and I take full advantage of the season.

I think zucchini is my favorite summer veggie. Learn more about zucchini here and here.   While I have my go-to recipe for zucchini, I’m always looking for different recipes to infuse my zucchini with new flavors.

My pet recipe is quick and simple:

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini (Medium size)
  • 2 vidalia onions or red onions (personal preference)
  • 2 tsps. fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of crushed red peppers
  • Dash of Lowry‚Äôs season salt (I only use this when I‚Äôm cooking for my ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†family)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (estimate… I’ve gotta learn to measure!)

Instructions:

Thoroughly wash and dry zucchini. Cut the ends off. Cut zucchini in half and then slice. I prefer mine sliced in half, but you can cut whole slices. Toss on to a sheet of aluminum foil. Half onion and then slice. Put the onions in with zucchini, add dry seasoning, and olive oil. Fold foil so juices don’t leak out.

Place foil pocket on a grill at medium temperature. Cook for about 20 minutes.

sliced

This is cooking at its easiest. There’s no excuse to not eat healthy.

foil

Zucchini is safely tucked away in the foil.

zucchini

Finished result…. Yummy!  This is great over brown rice, quinoa, or alone.

Two days ago, I found a different recipe on Pinterest, compliments of thepioneerwoman.com. The zucchini is delicious, but has a complete different flavor.

Seriously, that‚Äôs what I love most about fresh veggies. I can eat say, zucchini for dinner five consecutive days, but each night, the zucchini can be¬†cooked¬†different and infused with a unique flavor. I never get tired of¬†zucchini, but I’m not asking my family if they are tired of it. ¬†I may not like the answer. ¬†Lol!

Anyways, I tried the  Grilled Zucchini with Lemon Salt recipe.  As one of my friends would say,

‚ÄúOutstanding!!‚ÄĚ

Lol!  All you need is zucchini, lemon, black pepper, kosher salt, and olive oil. For specific instructions and details, click here.

bagged zuchiiLemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper all in one bag coating zucchini!

on the grill

Here they are cooking nicely on the grill. The anticipation was killing me. Lol!

grilled zucchini

Mmmm…. If you’re eating this at home, consider this finger food,
because using a knife takes too¬†dag on long! ¬†ūüôā

Give it a try; you might like it.

Do you have quick summer recipe?  Please share!

Thanks for visiting and enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 


What Sacrifices Are You Willing To Make?

My older brother and I are blessed with my dad’s DNA. ¬†With absolutely no effort, and for most of our lives, we remained long and lean. ¬† Daddy’s DNA was also passed along to my 30 something year old nephew.

Put us in a line up wearing only undergarments and the similarities, including our veiny arms, big ears, lean legs, and long bony, funny toes, and you know we are family.  LOL!

Great DNA combined with 30+ years of running has kept me lean.

For most of my life, the implication has been that my physique was only attributed to DNA, which is false.  The results are from consistent running, martial arts, gym work,  and a well-balanced diet.

In my early twenties when I enjoyed washing down cheddar cheese Combo’s with an Orange¬†Slice soda, I still ate my fruits and veges. ¬†Oh wow!¬†¬†I wanna puke just thinking about what’s in that stuff. ¬†Yuck! ¬†Nasty!

When age 40 rolled around, my highly active metabolism slowed its roll. ¬†I could do something that I could never do before, even when pregnant with my 24-year old…. GAIN weight and inches.

These days, I’ve taken my diet to a complete new level. ¬†I am not perfect, but most days, I eat clean, avoiding processed and sugary foods.

I spent about four hours in the kitchen today.  Cooked my butt off, but that is what I have to do to remain committed to my fitness goals.  Four adults live in our home.  Me, hubby, our son (10) and my mom (80).  I cook for the family and I cook for myself, which means more time in the kitchen.  By the way, the zucchini cakes were delicious!!  I found the recipe on Pinterest from A Teaspoon and A Pinch.  Kudos girl, the recipe is easy and worth the time!

Here’s what I either prepared or cooked this afternoon or before Tailor’s football game yesterday.

Do you want to improve your overall health?  Do you want to fit into those old jeans tucked away in your coset?  Well what are you willing to do?

  1. How committed are you?
  2. Are you willing to spend extra money for fresh produce?
  3. Will you make time to pack your lunch for work every day?
  4. What favorite foods are you willing to give up or modify?
  5. Are you willing to wake up with sore achey muscles from a challenging work out?
  6. Are you willing to read the labels on the food you buy?
  7. Most importantly, are you ready to give up all the quick fixes that promises to do what your will power cannot?

If so, then you are probably ready for a lifestyle change because that is truly the answer. ¬†When you take better care of your body, you feel better from the inside out, not the opposite. ¬†Your mind becomes more fit and you’re able to see life clearer and often make better choices.

Today and yesterday, I sacrificed a great deal of time preparing for the week because I plan to succeed at my fitness goals.  With the exception of  tossing meat that is already marinating, on the grill tomorrow, my cooking is done for the week!   I have all that I need for eating balanced meals throughout this week.  Like everything else in life, preparation is everything.    Heeeey!

Y√°ll please keep it moving!

TTYL


In The Mood to Cook….

Today is Saturday and my day off. ¬†Rarely do I cook on Saturdays, but for some reason this afternoon, I felt like putting my apron on and stepping into the kitchen. ¬†What’s taken ahold of me? ¬†Oh my! ¬†I have no idea!

I did my standard grocery shopping, with only one new item on the list. ¬†Before the groceries were put away, I already started prepping one dish. ¬†I ended up ¬†cooking a hodge-podge of whatever came to mind. ¬†Maybe I cooked because of the extra day off and I don’t want to cook on Sunday and Monday too. ¬†I can’t say for sure, all I know is that my family was thrilled that both ovens were working on a Saturday and they were not ordering from a take out menu. Here is what I cooked…

Ha! Ha!  This doesn't apply to me today.

Ha! Ha! This doesn’t apply to me today.

I can't get enough of the green and leafy!  Kale in one  pot and Broccolini in the other.

I can’t get enough of the green and leafy! Kale in one pot and Broccolini in the other.

Cabbage!  Green and purple!

Cabbage! Green and purple!

Bourbon seasoned boneless chicken breast

Bourbon seasoned boneless chicken breast

Pre-cooked carrots, potatoes, and chicken sausage

Pre-cooked carrots, potatoes, and chicken sausage

Hot and fresh out of the oven!  Smells good!

Hot and fresh out of the oven! Smells good!

$1.09 for fresh pizza dough at Shoprite.

$1.09 for fresh pizza dough at Shoprite.

I love my son's facial expression as he watches his dad prep the dough.  Too cute!

I love my son’s facial expression as he watches his dad prep the dough. Too cute!

Tailor is so happy to get his hands on the dough!

Tailor is so happy to get his hands on the dough!

...and now for some mozzarella cheese...

…and now for some mozzarella cheese…

Me spreading the sauce.

Me spreading the sauce.

All ready for the oven.

All ready for the oven.

After 20 minutes in the oven, this pizza was delicious!!

After 20 minutes in the oven, this pizza was delicious!!

Chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate chip cookies!

Have a fabulous weekend!