Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BEAUTY: Organic Tanning

As many of you know, I am a stranger to the sun.  I wear large sunglasses, church-lady hats, and never leave the house without at least SPF 70 sunblock.  I'm seriously considering purchasing driving gloves and the welder mask-like contraption donned by many of the older Asian women in my neighborhood.

What does a girl like me have to do to get some serious color?  Call Kelsey at Lavish Tan in Venice.  They specialize in organic, sprayless tanning. The "tan" lasts for at least a week and more likely closer to two weeks.  Kelsey is super sweet, and professional (she even texts your appointment confirmations), and has made quite a name for herself amongst those of us who fear the sun (it doesn't hurt that she has experience with Sports Illustrated models and some well-known actresses). The cost? About $45 bucks a pop - think about all the money you'll save on Botox, Restylane, and chemical peels later on in life to repair your sun-ravaged skin :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

LUNCH / DINNER: Tofu and Kale Delight

Servings: 4

  • 1 pack (Trader Joe's Firm Tofu), chopped
  • 1 bunch, Kale or Spinach, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp liquid aminos (optional, but this stuff is amazing)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red chili
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • In a medium size pot, saute the onion in olive oil until slightly golden
  • Add in ginger and garlic and continue to saute for a few minutes
  • Add in spices, saute for another few minutes
  • Add in tofu, continue to saute (a few minutes should do)
  • Add in kale or spinach, and cover pot and let simmer for approximately ten minutes or until done
  • Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered in order to let the flavors marry 
  • Serve over couscous, quinoa, or brown rice

BEAUTY: Oatmeal-Honey Mask

I love buying masks.   The thought of deep dermal cleansing really appeals to my OCD side. In the last few months alone, I purchased a Tar Mask at Raya Spa, a Suki Clay Mask, and an Organic Apoteke Detox Mask.  While mask shopping is always fun, they don't always work.  This oatmeal mask is especially effective because of the fact that you are utilizing the saponins in the oats which are extremely effective at cleaning pores; the honey works to do the same in addition to calming and revitalizing the skin.  Try this mask to clean and calm your skin (didn't know you could do both at the same time did you):

  • 1/2 cup of oats (any kind will do)
  • 1/2 cup of hot water
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender (I tried to use the hand blender, but the oats wouldn't break down, and who wants a lumpy mask)
  • Let the mixture cool
  • Apply to skin
  • Wait ten minutes
  • Rinse

Saturday, February 20, 2010

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DINNER: Pasta-Free Eggplant-Chicken Lasagna

Servings: 3-4

  • 1 pound of lean chicken breast filets, sliced
    •  keep the chicken filet width and length as is, just thinly slice the chicken breasts as these will serve as layers for your dish
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced
    • the goal here is to get long and wide slices of eggplant that you will eventually use to serve as the layers of your lasagna - so you want to cut from the top of the eggplant to the bottom 
    • slice pieces that are no more than 1/8" inch thick - your pieces should be about 6-8" long x 3-4" wide x 1/8" thick - remember the bigger the eggplant, the larger your layers
  • 1/2 cup - 1 cup shredded mozzarella or cheese blend (try the Trader Joe's bagged shredded, skim mozzarella or the mexican cheese blend)
  • Spinach, leaves (try the Trader Joe's bagged spinach)
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Optional: Arrabiata Sauce (Trader Joe's has a great one)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Sprinkle chicken with oregano, pepper, cayenne pepper, and a dash of salt (remember, the cheese has salt - don't over do it) - set aside
  • Lightly oil a casserole dish (you may need two depending on the size of your eggplant slices)
  • Lay your first level of eggplant slices across the entire bottom of your dish (keep your direction consistent)
  • Layer your chicken immediately above the eggplant
  • Layer on spinach immediately over the chicken
  • Add another layer of eggplant slices
  • Layer on spinach
  • OPTIONAL: you may add a light layer of arrabiata sauce - don't be afraid to let it spill over the sides
  • Layer on cheese
  • Dash black pepper across the cheese (optional if using arrabiata sauce)
  • Repeat in second dish if you have eggplant and chicken left over
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes

BEAUTY: It's all about the Almondoco

As many of you know, I have a head of unruly, curly hair.  While I am mostly able to maintain it via the typical curly hair styling products (Aveda, Pravana (sulfite and sulfate-free), and a wide variety of other elixirs), my undisciplined hair does enjoy freaking out now and then. 

A friend of mine recommended that I mix almond oil and coconut oil (1:1 ratio) and apply that to my hair at least one hour prior to washing.  I was very skeptical as I have tried tons of salon brand deep conditioners, oils (including the ultra FOBy Dabur Amla), and even Ojon, but my hair always fought back with even more frizz post-treatment.  I gave in, and bought the ingredients at my local Whole Foods store (also be sure to try your local Indian store).

I have to say, this mixture is a miracle! The combination of the proteins in the almond oil and the natural humectants in the coconut oil work wonders on dry hair.   Additionally, the "almondoco" mixture also makes a great post-shower body moisturizer.  Happy hair and skin conditioning!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

HOTSPOTS: Pasadena for Cold-Dessertaholics

I know its only February, but we have had our fair share of warm days, as such, I thought I'd share some of my favorite cold-treat spots in my favorite little town of Pasadena:
  • 21 Choices - an old classic, but the fact that they let you request flavors, like almond pistachio, (at least a day in advance) makes driving to Pasadena totally worth it...I know there's one near USC, but this location reminds me of my youth
  • Tutti Gelati - while I've tried one of the more mainstream gelato joints on Colorado; this one is a real treat because of the fact that they use totally pure ingredients 

HOTSPOTS: Amazing new coffee house in LA

I just found out about this really unique new coffee house called Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea.  They have a few locations in Chicago, Silver Lake, NYC, and Venice (Los Angeles).  Checking it out tomorrow...apparently they are starting some new locations in Pasadena (according to the LA Times Food section).  The unique thing about this coffee house is that they make extremely high quality teas and coffee, and you literally walk right up to your own barista stand to order.  I am hoping that the coffee will be similar in taste and quality to Illy, and other high quality European coffees.

Here's a link to the Abbot Kinney/Venice location:

Update: I visited Intelligentsia for coffee and dessert post a great dinner at Monsoon, and while their baked goods were running low, I did try the espresso over vanilla bean gelato (I think they call it an exlato) and had a great macchiato.  The space was positively amazing, and while it's very bare and minimalist, it's definitely much more cozy than your neighborhood chain coffee shop.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

FITNESS: LA: Great Local Hikes

Two hikes I recommend for beginner/intermediate level hikers are Topanga Canyon (stick to the Eagle Rock trail to start) in the Santa Monica Mountains and Temescal Gateway Park in Pacific Palisades.  Both are relatively challenging, have clean trails, and are easily accessible.  Here are a few links to both:

DINNER: Meatballs with Parsley and Parmesan

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of fresh French breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbs of grated fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbs of fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • Stir egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend.
  • Add ground beef and mix thoroughly.
  • Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
  • Pour enough olive oil into skillet to cover bottom and heat on medium-low heat.
  • Add meatballs and pan fry until cooked through.
  • Serve on top of whole wheat spaghetti or mix in sauce and serve.
  • Delicious!

Monday, February 15, 2010

BUILDING BLOCK: All Purpose Dough

Serving Size: Varies on Use

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2.5 tsp yeast (optional)
  • Flax seeds (optional)
  • Mix flour, and olive oil (yeast and flax as well if you like) in a mixing bowl
  • Add in water and hand knead or use mixer
  • Ensure that you allow the dough to sit for at least 20-30 minutes before using - preferably, allow the dough to chill for a few hours (and you can leave this in the freezer for future use)

DESSERT: Lean, Mean Apple Cobbler


  • 4 apples, peeled and diced 
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour (whole wheat works just fine)
  • 4 tbsp agave sweetener (substitute: 1/2 cup brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (substitute: use the powder or allspice powder)
  •  Two sheets of rolled out all purpose dough
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
  • Put the apples in a large mixing bowl 
  • Mix one ingredient in at a time into the apples - be sure to mix in the flour last
  • Lay out 1st sheet dough at the bottom of a baking pan - ensure that it is thin
  • Layer apples over the first layer of dough - this layer should be about 1/2" thick
  • Layer second sheet of dough over the apples
  • Bake @400 degrees for 25 minutes
  • Remove from oven, cool, and serve alone, with low-fat whipped cream, or low-fat ice cream

SNACKS: Peanut Butter Yogurt with Bananas

Servings: 1

  • 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt (try Trader Joe's non-fat, French Village yogurt)
    • Remember - flavored yogurts contain excess sugars, artificial flavors, and sometimes low amounts of cultures
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter (crunchy or smooth work, try Trader Joe's Organic Peanut Butters or blend your own at your local health food store or Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 to 1 banana sliced horizontally (substitute: pineapple chunks, berries, or any other fruit)
  • Blend the peanut butter and yogurt - it takes a minute or two, but stirring with a fork or spoon works 
  • Top with bananas or alternative fruit topping

Sunday, February 14, 2010

DESSERT: Easy Cake/Cupcake Cocoa Frosting

Servings: Frosts 12 cupcakes or 1 small cake

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 - 1 cup confectioners sugar (powdered)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups non-fat/low-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mix together cocoa, corn starch, sugar and salt
  • Add milk slowly and stir
  • Cook until thick (stovetop) stirring continuously
  • Add butter and vanilla
  • Cool, then spread
  • TIP: Use royal frosting over this smooth frosting to create designs, etc

DESSERT: Low-Fat Cupcakes

Servings: 12 cupcakes

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup white sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (substitute: 1/2 cup of low-fat butter and you can omit the oil as well)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites (substitute: use three normal eggs instead of just egg whites - also, when you start mixing ingredients, you can beat in egg yolks first and add in beaten and peaked egg whites at the end to ensure a fluffy cupcake)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
  • Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
  • Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

DINNER: Baked Parmesan Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup of light mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cups of breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of dried basil (optional)
  • Lightly coat chicken with light mayo
  • Mix breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried basil, salt and pepper together.
  • Coat chicken with breadcrumbs.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Serve with pasta or salad or brown rice and steamed veggies.
  • Enjoy!

DESSERT: Chocolate Mousse-Pudding (Salmonella safe)

Serving Size: 4-6

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (try the Trader Joe's 1 lb bar of dark chocolate)
  • 1 cup extra strong hot coffee (3 tsp of coffee per cup)
  • Orange peels or berries to garnish
  • Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites
  • Beat the egg yolks
  • Break up chocolate and place it in a small oven-proof dish
  • Pour the coffee over the chocolate and put it in a hot oven to allow the chocolate to melt
  • Remove the chocolate from the oven and mix the chocolate and coffee until you have a smooth mixture
  • Whip the egg whites until they are foamy and hold soft peaks - add sugar half early on in your whipping process
  • Slowly add in the egg whites to the chocolate mixture
  • Stick the mousse back in the oven for 30 minutes @250 - this is a new step in the traditional mousse process to prevent salmonella
  • Take out of the oven and allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least a few hours in your bake-ware or in individual serving dishes

    DINNER: Almond-Crusted Tilapia

    Serving Size: 2-3

    • 1 cup almonds - cut into thin pieces
    • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ground bay leaves
    • 2 teaspoons celery salt
    • 1/2 tsp spice mix
      • ground black pepper
      • paprika
      • ground nutmeg
      • ground ginger
      • ground allspice
      • ground cloves
      • crushed red pepper flakes
      • ground cardamom
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 large egg 
    • 1 tbsp water
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1.5 pounds tilapia filets
    • salt and pepper
    • Preheat the oven to 425°F. 
    • Lightly oil or coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
    • Combine the almonds, bread crumbs, brown sugar, spice mix, and salt in a shallow bowl. 
    • Beat egg and water in another bowl. 
    • Place the flour on a plate.
    • Season the fish with additional salt and pepper. To bread the fillets, coat both sides with flour and shake off excess. Dip in the egg and then coat evenly with the nut mixture.
    • Place each fillet on the baking sheet
    • Bake at 425 degree until for 15 minutes

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    DINNER: Steak Burritos

    Serving Size: 3-4

    • 1 pd sliced steak pieces (can use sirloin, top round, or even stewing beef)
    • 2 tomatoes chopped
    • 2 onions, diced
    • 2 red peppers, chopped
    • 2 green peppers, chopped
    • 2-3 green chiles (any kind will do - stick to the smaller ones: Serrano, Thai, etc), diced
    • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 large avocado
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • Low-Fat sour cream
    • Low-fat refried beans (either make them yourself or try the Trader Joe's Jalapeno Refried Beans)
    • Whole wheat tortillas (again Trader Joes has some great ones, but any whole wheat, lard-free ones will do)
    • Mexican Blend Cheese - try Trader Joe's lite version
    1. Marinate the beef with 70% of the lemon juice, all of the salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, and chile flakes - let it sit in the fridge for at least one hour
    2. Saute 80% of onions, green chiles for 3-5 minutes
    3. Stir in red (only 70% of red) and green peppers and 60% of tomatoes and let simmer for 2-3 minutes
    4. Add in beef and ensure that the mixture is fairly homogenous
    5. While the beef is cooking, prepare fresh guacomole and salsa
    6. Guacomole: blend avocado with red peppers, remaining lemon juice, and add in a dash of salt and pepper
    7. Basic salsa: mix onions, tomato, and a dash of salt and pepper
    8. When the beef is complete, set up a burrito line
    9. Heat tortillas straight over a gas oven or flip over a griddle
    10. Layer on all ingredients - you may want to layer the cheese first (before beef) or immediately after the beef.  Also - you can use the refried beans as a glue to hold the burrito shut

    DRINKS: Detox Juice

    Serving Size: 3-4

    • 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 1 tomato, chopped
    • frozen pineapple chunks - more the merrier
    • juice from 2 lemons
    • 2 oranges, peeled and seeds removed
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
    • 2" x 1/4" piece of ginger, peeled
    • water as needed to thin juice to desired consistency
    • Blend all ingredients
    • Enjoy

    SIDES: Garlic/Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

    Serving Size: 6-7

    • 2 pds peeled sweet potatoes cut into chunks
    • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
    • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • Coat sweet potatoes with all ingredients except salt & pepper and parsley
    • Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes
    • Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley before serving

    DESSERT: Skinny Pumpkin Pie or Mini-Pies

    pumpkin pie, lowfat pie, easy pumpkin pie
    Pumpkin pie is a quintessential fall treat.  For me, Thanksgiving isn't the same without it. This recipe has become a favorite with friends and family; it's incredibly easy to make and tastes great without all of the junk that will end up in your trunk.  One nice modification you can try is to bake the mixture in a muffin pan to create mini-pies.  Also, don't forget to create an easy crust for your pie/s.

    Serving Size: 1 pie + 6 mini-pies or 18 mini-pies

    • 1 16 oz can pumpkin (try Libby's - it's pure pumpkin with no added sugars or preservatives)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1-2 tsp vanilla
    • 1.5 tsp spice mix (1 tsp all spice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg) - note: you can omit all spice if you don't have it around
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1.5 cups of milk
    • 3/4 cups of sugar (you can get away with using 1/2 cup)
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • Mix spices and sugar together
    • Mix all additional ingredients together and add in sugar mixture at the end
    • Pour mixture into crust - fill up to crust line
    • Bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes

    DESSERT: Easy Graham Cracker or Savory Cracker Pie Crust

    What is there not to like about a nice graham cracker crust?  It is the ideal crust type for pumpkin pies, chocolate mousse pies, and others.  You can easily create this great crust by simply crushing graham crackers and adding melted butter (or applesauce) and water.  Alternatively, you can create a savory crust with regular whole wheat crackers.

    Servings: 1 Pie Crust or 1 Dozen Mini-Pie Crusts

    • 1/2 to 3/4 package of graham crackers or regular crackers
    • 1/3 cup low-fat melted butter
    • 1/8 cup of water
    • Crush graham crackers.  You can either stick the crackers in a food processor or dry blender or by placing the graham crackers in a zip lock back and rolling over the bag with a rolling pin or heavy can.
    • Pour melted butter and water over crumbs 
    • Mold into a uniform ball
    • Roll out into desired pie pan

    DESSERT: Royal Frosting

    Servings: Decorates at least 2 Dozen Cookies

    • 2 cups confectioners powdered sugar
    • 4 tbsp water
    • Optional: lemon or rosewater essence
    • Optional: food coloring
    • Mix
    • Put mixture in pastry bag and decorate
    • Note: this is a fast dry and hard frosting used to do detailed decorating work (for Gingerbread men, etc) - work fast!

    DESSERT: Lean Gingerbread Men

    Servings: 1.5 Dozen Cookies

    • 1/4 cup low-fat butter
    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or low-fat yogurt - try 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 regular)
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 egg
    • 1/3 cup dark molasses
    • 3 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp ground ginger powder (or freshly ground ginger)
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp allspice (if you don't have it, use cinnamon instead)
    • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
    • Beat butter, brown sugar, applesauce, egg, and molasses together in a large bowl
    • Mix remaining ingredients
    • Pour into butter mixture and mix
    • Divide dough and let chill for 2 hours 
    • Roll out dough to 1/4" or 1/8" thickness
    • Use cookie cutter over rolled out dough and place gingerbread men on greased and floured cooking sheet or non-stick sheet
    • Continue to combine and roll out scraps until all dough is used
    • Bake 10-12 minutes @ 350 degrees
    • Decorate with Royal Frosting when cool

    SIDES: Spicy Couscous

    Servings: 3-4

    • 1/2 tsp olive oil
    • 2 green onions or 1 whole onion
    • 1 large red or green pepper, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped into fine pieces
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
    • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp ginger
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
    • 1 cup couscous (try the Trader Joe's whole wheat version)
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • Heat the oil in a medium sized skillet
    • Add in the onions, pepper, garlic, and tomatoes
    • Saute for approximately 5 minutes and then set aside 
    • In a medium sized saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients
    • Cover and let stand for five minutes until the couscous absorbs all of the liquid
    • Add in the first mixture and fluff with fork

    DINNER: Moroccan Beef

    Serves: 2-3

    • 1/2 pound Top round Beef sliced into pieces that are 1/2" wide and 3" long
    • 1 Large Red Pepper (Bell Pepper)
    • 4 Green Chiles (Thai or Serrano Peppers should work)
    • Handful of Parsley
    • 2-3 Tomato
    • 2-3 Cloves Garlic
    • 2 Carrots
    • 1/2 onion
    • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp red chili powder or cayenne pepper powder
    • Cut all vegetables, chiles into thin strips
    • Saute all vegetables in large pan with a dash of olive oil for at least 10 minutes
    • Add in black pepper, salt and lemon juice
    • Add in beef and allow mixture to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes
    • Serve with Spicy Couscous or other mellow side dish

    SIDES: Killer Mac 'n Cheese

    Serving Size: 5-6

    • 2 Boxes of ready made macaroni and cheese - recommend Annie's Organic
    • 1/2 pound lean ground beef or chicken
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 tomato, chopped
    • 1 large red pepper (bell-pepper), chopped
    • 2-3 tbsp of mixed spices: mainly pepper, chile flakes, and cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Black Pepper
    • Boil water for pasta
    • Cook and strain pasta
    • Saute onions with a dash of oil for approximately 2-3 minutes in a large frying pan
    • Add in ground beef, salt and pepper
    • Continue to cook on medium heat until meat is cooked
    • Add in chopped red pepper, and mixed spices
    • Mix cheese with pasta - use a pot that will have enough room for the ground beef and pasta
    • Pour cooked ground beef into the pasta and cheese mix, keep pot on low heat
    • Mix beef and pasta so that beef is well distributed
    • Add in chopped tomatoes
    • Add additional black pepper to taste 
    • Serve

    DRINKS: Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

    Serving Size: 2-3

    • 15-20 Frozen or Fresh Strawberries
    • 2 Bananas
    • 1-2 cups of Low-Fat Milk or Soy Milk
    • 2 scoops vanilla sorbet or soy-ice cream (can substitute with vanilla yogurt)
    • 5-6 ice cubes
    • Blend 

    DRINKS: Peach-Orange Smoothie

    Serving Size: 2-3

    • Large Peach - cut into slices
    • 2 Oranges - peeled and seeds-removed
    • 5-6 Ice Cubes
    • 3 tbsp plain, non-fat yogurt
    • 1/2 cup soy milk (plain or vanilla) or low-fat milk
    • 2 small scoops vanilla sorbet or soy-ice cream (can substitute with vanilla yogurt)
    • Blend and enjoy :)

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    DESSERT: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Cookies

    Serving Size: 2 Dozen Cookies

    • 1 cup low-fat butter, room temperature (or substitute 1 cup applesauce, but be sure to add 1 tbsp of oil)
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 3 cups oats (add more if mixture is too wet)
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies
    • Mix butter and sugar together using a hand blender 
    • Beat in eggs one by one into the butter mixture
    • Add in vanilla
    • Combine flour, baking soda, and salt - add this mixture into the butter mixture
    • Add in chocolate chips
    • Let this mixture cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
    • Preheat oven to 335 degrees  
    • Spoon chilled mixture onto a greased baking sheet - 1.5 tbsp per cookie should be a good size
    • Bake at 335 for 10-12 minutes

    DINNER: "Fried" Chicken

    Servings: 3-4

    • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces (skinless)
    • Whole wheat flour (or white if you prefer)
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • 2 cups bread crumbs
    • 2-4 eggs 
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
    • Grease and flour a shallow baking dish (should be wide and long enough to accommodate your chicken without layering the pieces - alternatively use two dishes)
    • Spread salt and pepper accordingly over chicken pieces
    • Crack and beat eggs - mix the egg mixture with milk (ensure that the mixture is a bowl that will allow the chicken to easily be dipped)
    • Pour bread crumbs into a bowl (the chicken will later be dipped in this bowl)
    • Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture and immediately place each side into the bread crumb bowl - the chicken should be coated with crumbs
    • Lay each coated piece of chicken into your pan
    • Bake @375 for 45-55 minutes

    BREAKFAST: Whole Wheat Pancakes (easily converted into applejacks or berrycakes)

    Servings: 8-10 pancakes

    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1.5 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp honey or agave
    • 1/2 cup low-fat milk (feel free to use skim or soy)
    • 1 egg
    • 1.5 tsp vegetable oil
    • Optional: your choice of apples, berries, raisins, and/or nuts
    • Heat a cast-iron griddle prior to mixing ingredients - a pan also works
    • In a medium to large size bowl mix together all dry ingredients
    • Beat the egg until smooth and frothy; add in milk, honey, and vegetable oil
    • Pour in the wet mixture into the dry mixture slowly
    • Ensure your mixture is homogenous
    • Spray griddle or pan with oil or use a low fat butter to coat the surface
    • Spoon approximately two tablespoons of the mixture onto your cooking surface
    • Flip pancakes after the have formed a solid (you don't want to flip too quickly, unless you will have a goppy mess on your hands)
    • Continue to flip pancakes every two minutes until they are complete
    • Remove from heat, pour on Pure Grade B Maple Syrup and enjoy