Meal Plan – Week of 2.27

26 Feb

Another busy week ahead! Nani is in town so she will be taking on Monday’s Meal (Corn Beef and Cabbage), plus my 3 year old just got her very own cookbook so that will be fun! Let’s break down this week’s meal choices:

Breakfast all week will be made ahead of time using my Sous Vide

PLUS an extra large batch of french toast sticks made with THIS RECIPE and Trader Joes Brioche bread. (It reheats beautifully)

Let’s dive into Dinner:

Sunday: Artisan Pizza in my Pizza Oven (Pizza dough from Trader Joes)

Monday: Corn Beef and Cabbage in the crock pot (Thanks to Nani) – Corn beef purchased at Costco.

Tuesday: Puerto Rican Cuban Steaks (basic recipe below)

Wednesday: Coconut chicken curry (add carrots and bell peppers) 

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Taquitos 

Friday: Pizza night (we really like pizza around here) But this time Mexican Taco Pizza!


Puerto Rican Cubed Steak (Per my non-puerto rican MIL but approved by my Puerto Rican Husband)

28 oz can of tomato sauce

Cube steaks (enough to feed the crowd)

One packet of Sazon,

some seasoned salt to taste

garlic powder to taste

onion power to taste (you can also toss in some sliced onions but my husband hates them)

Cumin to taste (optional)

Cheyenne powder for spice to taste (optional)

Fry up the steaks in a little bit of oil, I add the seasoned salt, pepper to the steaks while they are cooking.  When they are cooked almost all the way through, take them out, then put the rest of the stuff in the pan.  Mix the sauce and all of the seasonings left and then put the steaks back in to cook through, usually another 20 minutes or until tender. This can also be made in the crockpot if your heart so desires. Serve with rice.




My new cooking style obsession

11 Feb

So healthy cooking is my main mission these days but that does not mean I have to skip out on taste! Recently I ran into a cooking technique that I just can’t wait to share with you. It was an idea brought to me by my mom. Mom makes fish with it but I use chicken.     Okay, okay I will tell you…it’s call cooking in parchment paper and it is easy, healthy and tasty! The great thing is that you don’t have a lot of dishes and you are only limited by your imagination. Here are two recipes I cooked up recently. I just eye balled it so bare with me.


Each packet serves 1


Preheat oven for 400 degrees F.


Greek Chicken:

  • Chicken breast filets (2-3 depending on how much you eat)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Sliced zucchini 
  • Green beans (I just used frozen but you can use fresh, just not canned)
  • Papered Chef greek seasoning mix (or any greek seasoning mix you can get)
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Pepperoncinis
  • greek olives pitted
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)


Take a 12 inch piece of parchment and spray with cooking spray. Layer in all ingredients, sprinkle with seasoning and garlic salt then fold so that the chicken is covered and crinkle up one side so it is closed. Pour the wine in the other side so it won’t leak out and close the final side up. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy with pasta, brown rice or on it’s own.


 Cajun Chicken

  • Chicken breast filets (2-3 depending on how much you eat)
  • Red potatoes cut into cubes
  • Celery cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • Baby carrots cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Cajun seasoning mix of your choice
  • Garlic salt if needed and to taste
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • andouille sausage sliced (optional but I had some so I did a half sausage per serving)


Take a 12 inch piece of parchment and spray with cooking spray. Layer in all ingredients, sprinkle with seasoning and garlic salt then fold so that the chicken is covered and crinkle up one side so it is closed. Pour the wine in the other side so it won’t leak out and close the final side up. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy with pasta, brown rice or on it’s own.


Enjoy and let your imagination lead you.



Whole Food Recipes

8 Jan

Recipes for Clean Eating

Cucumber & Black-eyed Pea Salad

(6 servings | 6 cups)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried

Freshly ground pepper to taste

4 cups peeled and diced cucumbers

1 14-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed

2/3 cup diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup slivered red onion

2 tablespoons chopped black olives

Whisk oil, lemon juice, oregano and pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add cucumber, black-eyed peas, bell pepper, feta, onion and olives; toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.



Engagement Roast Chicken

1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)

½ cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 whole lemons—including 1 sliced for garnish

1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Fresh herbs for garnish (4 rosemary sprigs, 4 sage sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs, and 1 bunch fl at-leaf parsley)



  1. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the giblets from the chicken, wash the chicken inside and out with cold water, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander for 2 minutes.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast-side down in a medium roasting pan fi tted with a rack and pour the lemon juice all over the chicken, both inside and out. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper inside and out.
  3. Prick 2 whole lemons three times each in three different places with a fork and place them deep inside the cavity. Chicken cavity size may vary, so if one lemon is partly sticking out, that’s fine. (Tip: If the lemons are stiff, roll them on the countertop with your palm before pricking to get the juices flowing.)
  4. Put the chicken in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Using tongs or two wooden spoons, turn the chicken breast- side up. Insert a meat thermometer in the thigh, and return the chicken to the oven and roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 180°F and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork. Continue roasting if necessary. Keep in mind that cooking times in different ovens vary; roasting a chicken at 350°F takes approximately 18-20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. And here’s the secret: Pour the juices from the roasting pan on top of the sliced chicken— this is the “marry me juice.” Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.



Grilled Chicken Thighs Tandoori

(8 servings)

2 (6 ounce) containers plain yogurt

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground coriander

16 chicken thighs

olive oil spray


1.In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, salt, pepper, cloves, and ginger. Mix in garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and coriander. Set aside. 2.Rinse chicken under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken, press air out of bag, and seal. Turn the bag over several times to distribute marinade. Place bag in a bowl, and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight, turning bag occasionally. 3.Preheat an outdoor grill for direct medium heat. 4.Remove chicken from bag, and discard marinade. With paper towels, wipe off excess marinade. Spray chicken pieces with olive oil spray. 5.Place chicken on the grill, and cook about 2 minutes. Turn, and cook 2 minutes more. Then arrange the chicken to receive indirect heat, and cook approximately 35 to 40 minutes, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.


Tomato Basil on Whole Wheat pasta

Even you can eat healthy and not starve!

3 Jan

Who said that eating healthy has to be boring and make you feel like you are starving all the time?!? Not this girl. I think that people get too tied up into dieting to loose weight they forget that number one you will gain back all the weight if you don’t stick with it FOREVER, and two diet without the t is just die. As in your diet will die if you only eat diet food. YUCK. Now if you want to learn to eat healthy (note not diet but healthy) you need to learn to make foods that taste good and that fill you up. Learn to make your junk food and comfort food favorites at home and healthier. For example instead of french fries make some homemade sweet potato fries. (recipe here)

Here is an example of a meal that I recently had that was not only tasty but healthy and filling:

So basically what you are looking at is my Dijon Lime Salmon (a moderately small piece) with a side of cucumber salad with homemade dressing, a large artichoke dipped in balsamic vinegar and acorn squash with a butter and brown sugar topping (my dessert) all this for only 466 calories!!

The take away here is that if you serve up a dish of veggies with your protein (in my case fish) you can fill up on those high fiber veggies and feel satisfied and happy. The treat here is the acorn squash. Acorn squash is low in calories and high in flavor.

Make this Acorn Squash (fast and easy recipe curtesy of my momma) – about 128 calories per serving

Cut an acorn squash into fourths. Microwave the pieces you will serve (I only ate one slice so I only prepared one slice) on high 5 minutes. Add 1/4 tbs of butter with a tsp of brown sugar and microwave 1 more minute. Thats it! This is a great way to end dinner since it is satisfying and just sweet enough to feel indulgent.

I did so well today I even enjoyed a glass of wine after dinner! Life is good!

What is your favorite veggie that fills you up?

New Years Eve Donut Muffins

1 Jan

A while ago I started a new tradition of baking a yummy treat sometime around 10pm or 11pm at night. It helps to keep me busy before midnight and it gives us a yummy treat to enjoy with our champaign when the clock hits midnight. So this year I made mini muffins that are rolled in cinnamon and sugar and taste just like donut holes. YUM!

These little muffins are super easy and require minimum ingredients:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 24 mini-muffin cups or spray with pam.

2.Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, then mix in the baking powder and flour until just combined. Fill the prepared mini muffin cups about half full.

3.Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

4.While muffins are baking, place 1/4 cup of melted butter in a small bowl. In a large storage bag (ala ziplock), mix together 1/4 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Remove muffins from their cups, brush each muffin in the melted butter using a pastry brush or lightly dip them. Toss all buttered muffins into bag with sugar and cinnamon until coated. Let cool and serve. (You won’t be able to wait for them to cool)


Nutrition Time:

Compare to a mini donut:

Good Luck Soup for a Happy New Year

31 Dec

Here is my version of a good luck soup you can eat to ring in the new year and bring you luck.

  • 3-4 cups mirepoix mix (celery, carrots, onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups potato chopped into small cubes
  • 2 cups ham cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 3-5 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 lb. collards, cut into thin ribbons
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups black eye peas that have been soaked over night (you can use canned black eyed peas but if you do put them in the mix in the last 20 minutes so they don’t get too soggy)


Heat a large soup pot. Add oil and then add the mirepoix mix and the garlic. Sauté for about 4 minutes then add thyme, oregano and ham. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add all other ingredients EXCEPT the greens. Bring to a boil and then bring down to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add greens and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 20-25 minutes.

Serve hot

Makes about 8 servings.


Good Luck and Happy New Year!


How Sweet it is to Snack on Sweet Potatoes

28 Dec

I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes but a recent dinner idea of chicken burgers inspired me to try some homemade sweet potato fries. They are far healthier than regular potato fries and they are also super easy! Bake them in a super hot oven on a stoneware pizza pan or a regular cookie sheet lined with foil (shiny side up). These were super yummy with just a hint of spice.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries (serves 2)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees


  • 1 sweet potato cleaned (keep the skins on)
  • 2 Tbs. Olive oil (preferably light variety)
  • 1/2 Tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp or more of ground red pepper spice (basically cayenne pepper) for spice!
  • (or you can just season them how you like. I hear salt and rosemary is pretty good as well)

There are 2 ways to slice these potatoes:

For Crispy chips: Slice thin into chips

For not as crispy fries: Cut the sweet potato in half then lengthwise then into strips that are about 1/4 in wide.

Toss your chips/fries in the oil and seasoning mix until well coated. Place on baking sheet or stoneware pan in an even layer and bake for 15 minutes. Turn gently and bake another 10-15 minutes or until done to desired doneness.

Sprinkle with a little salt if you so choose and enjoy!

The low down on the food facts:

Want to cut down on the calories- half the amount of oil and you will cut the calories down to 115 calories rather than 175.

Compare to small french fries from say McDonalds:

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