Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a set of rules about what to eat and what not to. Healthy eating is not about dieting and deprivation. To me it’s more about the ability to make the right choices as well as exercise a good measure of self control. We try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, choose as many organic ingredients as possible and learn how to identify GMO produce. While our diet consists a lot of the good stuff there are times when we give in to the bad. And that’s ok.
Saturday night the family was over for a down and dirty roll up your sleeves type of meal. We made home made Margaritas and Hot N Juicy style shrimp boil. For those of you who have never been to Hot n Juicy, they serve bagged seafood swimming in tons of buttery seasoning made spicy to your licking. I can’t explain how good it is. It’s just is. I’ve mastered the seasoning and it’s now become a once a month thing for the family get together. My dad can sit there all night, just peel the shrimp and enjoy sucking the sauce out them. The six of us ate 8 lbs of shrimp and we’re not sorry. I’ll be good again tomorrow.
Saturday was a beautiful 65 degree day and a glimpse into what Spring is going to bring, but today the cold is back. It’s going to rain most of the week with a possibility of snow on Tuesday. So I made this delicious stew to warm up a bit. I love stews no matter the time of the year.
I made baked tortilla chips as well. Simply cut corn tortillas into eights, lay on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Bake at 350 degrees until golden.
The toppings are all up to you. Use whatever you like, avocado, radish, cabbage, red onions. All fantastic! I made crispy chorizo bits for an even more flavor.
This stew is great the day it’s made and even better the day after. It freezes well too.
- 2 lbs pork shoulder, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 can light beer
- 2 14 oz cans hominy, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups water
- 1 chicken bouillon
- 2 whole pickled jalapeños plus the juice, fine chop
- 1 tbsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- olive oil
- toppings of your choice
- Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot or a Dutch oven.
- Season pork with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown pork. (Don't overcrowd the pot, you'll end up steaming the meat instead of browning it) Remove to a bowl.
- To the same pot add diced onion, garlic and poblano pepper. Cook about 5 minutes.
- Add the beer, deglaze the pot and add the rest of the ingredients.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 1 hour until pork is tender. Season with salt and cayenne to your liking.
“Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey-teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven-to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman… More named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom”.
Personally I feel Google should add “and bring Spring back” to the end of that description. I love the movie Frozen, although I have now seen it about 20 times, thanks to my Briana. Amazing how kids can watch the same thing over and over and still love it. I equally love this description. It sort of reminds me of this past Winter with all its snowy mightiness. I’m so glad I can finally say past Winter… Happy Spring friends!
One of my goals this year is to learn how to be a fearless optimist like Anna both in life and with food. I’m making great progress. Let’s start by taking these Black Bean Burgers. In my past life I avoided making them at all cost, mostly because all the recipes I came across would yield a mess of a burger that melted across my pan. Now that I am fearless Anna, I don’t give up so easily. I present you the Black Bean Burger that is simply delicious and doesn’t melt in your pan. It reminds me of Olaf with his beautiful personality and complete cluelessness about warmth and melting. Hmm… I wonder if naming it the Olaf Burger would work. Briana really loved that idea and that’s why you see the a.k.a in the title.
The onion crisps are very easy to make and add a wonderful crunch to this burger. Don’t skip on them and spend a few extra minutes to make them. Simply slice one onion in half and then into thin strips. Dip them in milk and then drench in flour. Shake off the excess and fry in canola oil until golden. Drain on a paper towel. Don’t forget to season with salt as soon as they come out of the oil.
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles (or any other cheese of your choice)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ (15 oz) can corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, diced small
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs (or more if needed)
- 1 egg
- a few dashes Tabasco, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 medium onion, sliced in half and then sliced into thin slices
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup canola oil, for frying
- toppings of your choice
- 4 burger buns
- In a medium bowl, mash up half of the beans until they resemble paste like mixture. Gently add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
- Form into burgers, place on a tray and refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes while you prepare the onion crisps.
- Heat the canola oil.
- Dip onion thins in milk and then drench in flour, shaking off the excess. Fry until golden. Drain on a paper towel. Season with salt.
- Add a little canola oil to a large skillet, cook burgers over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Top with cheese and allow for it to melt.
- Arrange burgers on buns with toppings of your choice.
“To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there” Richard Bach.
My friends, I am using the law of attraction to bring warm weather into my life. This morning I heard on the news that so far this year we have doubled the amount of snow this area gets on average and there are still 36 days of winter left. We are due to get another blizzard with “significant” accumulations tomorrow. Me no likey!
I have been following the Law of Attraction principle for a few months now. This belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are made of pure energy and for that reason we can attract positive or negative into our lives just by focusing our thoughts in either direction. This concept is fascinating to me. Although there are many skeptics out there, it is our human right to believe in what we want and to follow ideas that make us feel good. While I understand it has nothing to do with weather, the thought itself makes me feel good and that’s all that matters.
This bean stew also makes me feel really good. Mostly because it warms my chilled body and tastes insanely good. Since it’s nutritiously good for you, it also makes me feel good about eating it. And it’s makes for killer lunch leftovers the next day.
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp dry rosemary
- ½ tbsp red chili flakes
- 1 lb pinto beans, soaked overnight
- 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
- 1 chicken bouillon (use vegetable bouillon for vegetarian version)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch Oven, add garlic, onion, celery, bell pepper, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes.
- Add beans, chicken bouillon, cover with water and simmer for about 1½ hours until the beans are very soft.
- Stir in kale, season with salt, pepper and cook another 10 minutes.
This is my family’s absolute new favorite dish. I love making it because it’s insanely easy and quick to prepare. What’s not to love about chicken, rice and beans all cooked in one pot. It’s a marriage made in food heaven. I must start by first thanking a fantastic blogger who introduced me to this recipe, Natalie at Tastes Lovely. I adapted this fabulous dish from her and have been making it weekly ever since. I even made this for our Super Bowl party and it was a huge hit.
It’s been snowing all day, schools are closed and I had to take a day off from work. In between the list of house chores and loads of laundry I got to do something I rarely have a chance to do, I watched cooking shows all day long. I couldn’t help but think of how I would love to have a cooking show of my own. Can you imagine doing what you love all day long? Hmmm.. I wonder what I would create as my first dish. I think it would have to be this skillet. Yeah, it’s that good.
The beauty of it is that you most probably already have all the ingredients right in your pantry and freezer. It’s fabulous with hot sauce like Cholula. In this house of hot sauce junkies, hot sauce goes faster than milk.
I leave you with these two questions:
What’s your dream job?
Do you like hot sauce? If so, what’s your favorite?
- 6 drumsticks or 5 boneless thighs
- 2 cups Jasmine rice
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 15 oz can small red beans
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup frozen green peas
- 1 packet Goya Sazon con azafran (with saffron)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and paprika to taste
- Heat olive oil in a oven safe heavy pot.
- Season chicken with salt and paprika. Cook about 5 min on each side, until crispy and nicely browned. Don't worry if the chicken is not fully cooked through, it will finish cooking in the oven.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Now add onion and garlic to the pot. Saute about 4 minutes and stir in rice, chicken stock, beans, peas and the packet of Goya. Stir to combine.
- Gently nestle the chicken on top of the rice mixture.
- Bake at 450 degrees until all the liquid is adsorbed and the rice is cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
I am looking forward to this weekend. Super Bowl is here and we’re having a party. I planned a pretty extensive menu to feed the crowd of about 15. Tonight right after work I am heading straight to the grocery store. There is no way I am attempting to shop on Saturday. It always seems as if there are gazillions of people and only four registers open.
I get excited to throw these sorts of parties, but my sanity is somewhat on the line. In efforts to reduce the stress and make the process smooth, I am doing some prep cooking on Saturday.
I got a great loaded nachos recipe for you in case you’re still looking for ideas for Sunday. They turned out so good Kurt and I ate this entire dish all by ourselves. Thankfully these are much healthier, meat free and loaded with veggies.
I know we’re going to have tons of fun. I know my guests are going to absolutely love these nachos!!!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 zucchini, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ cup canned corn, drained
- ¼ cup chopped pickled jalapeños
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ tsp cumin
- 1 can refried beans
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- hot sauce, to taste
- ½ cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
- chopped tomato or favorite salsa
- salt to taste
- tortilla chips
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, add red onion and garlic. Saute about 3 minutes.
- Add zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.
- Stir in corn, jalapeños and cumin. Season with salt to taste.
- In a small pot, combine refried beans, sour cream and hot sauce and heat through.
- Arrange tortilla chips at the bottom on a baking dish. Top with refried beans mixture, veggie mixture and cheese.
- Bake at 400 degrees until the cheese melts. Top with fresh tomatoes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with guacamole on the side.