Tag Archives: healthy

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Though we are young at heart (i.e. super immature), my husband and I are now trying to keep up with our metabolisms that are seeming to slow down at a much quicker rate than we would like. In our 20s and early 30s, we could eat anything and not really worry about exercising and we looked fine and felt fine.

My husband turned 40 this year and I am close behind him for closing out this decade and we have noticed changes in our overall health. Which is why we are desperately trying to hold onto any remnants of our youthful selves that we can. My husband has started running everyday and I have joined a pilates studio.

My pilates instructor told me that only about 20% of a healthy lifestyle happens during your workout. 80% happens outside of the class, mostly what you put in your body. Booooo! I want to eat birthday cake every night for the rest of my life. WHY CAN’T I HAVE THIS REALITY? WHY!!!!

Okay, reality in check, the other week, we went to Costco and loaded up on bulk items. I love having a stocked pantry that you can make up all kinds of wonderful meals. In the past  year, my husband and I have started focusing on having healthier pantry items in order to be able to whip up more quality meals for ourselves. During that trip we picked up a large sack of farro to test out and a flat of canned garbanzo beans because my husband has a fabulous hummus recipe that I love. If any of you have farro recipes, send them my way!

Farro tastes like rice and barley mixed together. It has a nice chewiness to it. I made this cold salad out of it which was such a delicious side dish to grilled tri tip, but also can be eaten on its on as a lunch. Anyway, enjoy everyone.



Continue reading Mediterranean Farro Salad

Spicy Ham and Bean Soup

Here is the perfect dish for a cold winter day.

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Today, it is a rainy, cold day across much of the United States.  It is definitely one of those days where you want to snuggle up on the couch, under a blanket, and watch a really good movie. Personally, Ferris Bueller is my go to rainy, day movie, but to each their own.

More than watching a movie, I LOVE having something warm to put in my tummy. This kicked up soup, layered with spicy flavor, will definitely warm your belly on these lingering cold, gray winter days. I used leftover black eyed peas, but you could use any cooked bean hanging out in your kitchen. Get creative and make it your own!

Spicy Ham and Bean Soup

Spicy Ham and Bean Soup Spicy Ham and Bean Soup

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp thyme and 1 bay leaf

1 ½ cups celery, chopped

1 ½ cups carrot chopped

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

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Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

I have always love green beans. Even the soggy ones that were served in the school cafeteria as a kid. These are so much better!

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I love fresh green beans in any shape or form, but when you can mix them with bacon and caramelized shallots, I mean come on. It almost seems like I am cheating. I mean getting this much yummy flavor into something shouldn’t be this easy!

You get the sweet caramelized shallots bring out the sweetness of the green beans and the smoky saltiness of the bacon mixes well with the bites of ground pepper. The grassy-ness of the parsley brings out the fresh earthiness of the green beans while the lemon brightens the flavors, giving the meal a little zip.

Enjoy everyone!

Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

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Winter Meal Plan – 8



Snack 1


Snack 2



2 Scrambled eggs and a grapefruit

25 almonds or other nuts or seeds available

Farro Salad and Apple

String Cheese

Cabbage Rolls


Omelet and banana Yogurt Cabbage Rolls and apple Gorilla bar Grilled Chicken, Farro Salad, steamed broccoli


2 Scrambled eggs and a grapefruit Yogurt and 25 almonds or other nuts or seeds available Cabbage Rolls and apple Banana and String Cheese or favorite cheese Leftovers


Omelet and a banana Dried fruit and nut/seeds Tuna Sandwich and apple Gorilla bar Salmon roasted in butter and Sautéed green beans


Omelet and grapefruit Yogurt and banana Farro salad and apple Hummus and carrots Pan Roasted Chicken with steamed green beans and rice


English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich and Grapefruit  String cheese or favorite cheese and nuts Tuna sandwich and apple Popcorn Leftovers


French Toast and citrus Dried fruit and string cheese Tuna sandwich and apple Hummus and carrots Steak Tacos


In order to save time and money, I make a meal plan every week. This is my meal plan for next week.

Also, I like to have a good mix of quick to grab convenience foods and fast prep meals interwoven into my week. I have lots of recipes that are consistently in our diet, but I also like to try new recipes. Next week I will be trying a couple of new recipes that get pretty high ratings on other cooking sites.

Anyway, happy cooking everyone!


Farro Salad

Every month we take a trip to Costco to load up on bulk items, such as flour, rice, canned beans, and canned tomatoes, etc… I have to admit, I love shopping there. Sure at first the crazed busy shopper experience got on my nerves, but now I am a pro. I know how to navigate the store, going in a counter clockwise direction around the store. This navigational trail seems to put us out of the course of frenzied craziness and only on the outskirts of traffic. If you must put yourself through the gauntlet of traffic, wait no, you want to swim upstream at this store!

Anyway, last week I picked up a large sack of farro, thinking hmmm… I have never had farro before. Looks healthy… says its organic… I wonder what that tastes like… Sold! (So if any of you have farro recipes, send them my way!)

Farro tastes like rice and barley mixed together. It has a nice chewiness to it. I made a cold salad out of it which was such a delicious side dish to grilled chicken, but also ate it on its on as a lunch. Anyway, enjoy everyone.



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Berry Smoothie

I love smoothies! Especially when I have a sweets craving and I don’t want to turn to a cookie.

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Below is my favorite smoothie recipe. Of course you could add a few of your favorite fruits: mango, papaya, pineapple, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc… That’s what I love about smoothies, they are so versatile.

If you have any leftovers, you can place in a container and freeze. Later you can scrape it for a delicious fruit ice similar to a granita. A healthy and delicious sweet treat.

Today in yoga, our instructor read a Rumi poem called the guest house that really struck a chord with me. Enjoy!


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out

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Cuban Chicken

An earthy spice rub marries well with the bright citrus marinade! Enjoy.

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I have been practicing yoga for three years now and I am still in the beginner classes, but life is about the journey. I have to accept where I am at and trust that one day, the beginner classes will seem easy to me and I will know when it is time to move on.  Anyway, today in yoga class, my instructor brought up the idea of complimentary contradictions.

In yoga, for example, we have to put our bodies through positions that may seem contradictory, in order to get freer and more open. I guess you could apply that way of thinking to all parts of life, such as last night, when I returned home from the grocery store starving. These are my weak moments when I want some fatty deliciousness, instead I fed myself something more complimentary to our new goal of practicing moderation. This flavorful chicken is great…

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Kale and White Bean Soup

This soup is perfect for the winter months. Something warm, cozy and filling.

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One of the many things that I love about receiving a CSA box, other than the extreme freshness, is that we have to adapt our menu to what we receive. It is part of the fun of it, kind of like being a contestant on the cooking show “Chopped.” This past week, we received 2 lbs of kale (dinosaur and maribar). Having made kale chips and stewing them down with chard into a southern style greens dish  just recently, I decided to turn to the internet for some inspiration.

Gourmet magazine ran a recipe for Kale and White Bean Soup back in 2002 that had pretty good reviews so yesterday, after a slow morning of putt-zing around the house doing a few random chores and drinking my standard weekend 3 cups of  late morning coffee before accomplishing anything, I set out to make a huge industrial amount of stock. I do…

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Rosemary Cayenne Oven Fries

This recipe is so good. I have been coming back to it for years!

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My New Year’s resolution this year was to start living a life of gratitude and adventure. I really didn’t see it turning into a journey for my health, but it came to my realization that I can not be truly grateful for anything exterior to me, if I am not grateful for the interior of me. You know the whole rigamarole of  treating yourself with respect and love before being able to give it out to the world. It is true, I put my health and well-being at the bottom of the list of things to do.

I think I graduated to the next stage of adulthood a couple of nights ago. Something inside of me clicked and I realized that it was me and only me, baby. Sure I have family and friends, but in that moment I felt alone, not lost or scared; just focused and independent, on…

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Wild Rice with Leeks and Peppers

I have been on a diet for the past 2 and a half weeks. I have lost five pounds which is pretty good for me. I have had to say no to a lot of things and a lot of people trying to pawn off all their leftover holiday goodies at work. It will pay off though when I am at my goal weight in a few months. In the meantime, I am getting creative with some new ingredients. Today I present to you my take on wild rice, full of flavor and fiber. Yum!


Wild Rice with Leeks and Peppers

Roasted Chicken on a bed of Wild Rice with Leek and Peppers
Roasted Chicken on a bed of Wild Rice with Leek and Peppers

1 cup wild rice Continue reading Wild Rice with Leeks and Peppers