Monday, September 16, 2013

One of my Faves!

When I studied abroad in France, this was one of my favorite things to make. It's a spin off a salad nicoise and makes for a filling, well-rounded lunch. I like to cook the rice and egg the night before and then assemble for an easy work lunch. You can also add any other fresh veggies you want to the following ingredients. I've added diced bell peppers, celery, and even cucumber before.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooked rice (think leftovers from dinner or you can buy those single serve microwavable cups of rice)
  • 1/2 can whole kernel sweet corn
  • 1 can tuna in water, drained
  • 1 hard boiled egg, diced
  • Tomatoes (I usually use grape tomatoes or dice up some small, on-the-vine ones that are sweet)

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper

To keep the salad as fresh as possible, keep rice (if leftover and not microwavable) and egg in one large container. Microwave for approximately 40 seconds to bring up to room temperature.
Next, add corn and tuna straight from the cans. Add tomato and any other vegetables.

Put all the dressing ingredients into a small tupperware container. When all your salad ingredients are mixed together, shake up the dressing in the container and pour over the salad.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Best Nuts You'll Ever Eat!

One day I was having a lazy afternoon and had a Food Network marathon. It was a perfect day! I came across the show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and Giada started talking about these mixed nuts that she was just crazy about! It made my mouth water seeing these warm, flavorful morsels come out of the oven. I just had to learn how to make them. I did just that last weekend for Katie's birthday party and everyone agreed. Giada was right!! 
Now, usually I take recipes I find and I make changes, add my own twist to them. But in this case, that would be disrespectful to the masterpiece The Union Square Cafe has created! Therefore, I'm just going to post the link directly for you. Please make these at a time you can eat or serve them right away. They are so good warm!!
Oh, you can always throw a handful of the leftovers in the microwave for 30 seconds or so any time you need a snack. ;-) 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Thai Chile Tacos

Obviously I love a sweet & spicy combo and this recipe was just perfect! You can easily adjust it to make it sweeter (add more sugar) or spicier (add more chile sauce). I started the steaks marinating before I left for work this morning and cooked everything else after an exhautsing yoga/pilates workout! It was filling, light, and FULL of flavor. Enjoy!!

Thai Chile Tacos w/ Asian Slaw & Spicy Sour Cream

Steak Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (don't use ginger powder... seriously... huge difference)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fish sauce (don't worry, you can find this even at Walmart in the Asian aisle)
  • 1/2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (also in the Asian aisle, a staple... you should really have this in your pantry if you're a fiery foodie like me)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound flank steak (or any thin cut, tender steak)
  • Cooking spray

Slaw Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 cups packaged angel hair slaw
  • 2 cups packaged matchstick carrots
  • 1/4 cups sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro 

Other Ingredients

  • 8 corn tortillas (you can use flour, but corn is so much better for you!)
  • 6-8 tbsp. Light Sour Cream 
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha 


  1. Combine first 7 Steak ingredients into a large gallon-size ziploc bag. Mix/shake ingredients together, then add in the steak and let it marinate. It should marinate at least 20 minutes, but I prefer to throw it together before work and let it sit in the fridge soaking up the flavor all day long!
  2. When you get home or are ready to get started, first prepare the slaw. Combine the first 7 ingredients and whisk together in a large bowl. Next, add the cabbage/slaw, carrots, green onion, and cilantro. Toss everything together really well. 
  3. Spray down the grill really well and heat it up for the steak. Once hot, throw the steak on and cook it 3-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the steak and how you like it done. Once you remove the steak from the grill. Let it rest for about 5 minutes before you cut it up! Some people like to cut flank steak into strips, but I can't stand biting into a steak taco and having a whole piece of steak pull right out with the bite. Therefore, I prefer to cut into cubes. 
  4. While the steaks are cooking, combine the sour cream and sriracha and heat up your tortillas. For those that don't live in Texas and need instructions on heating up corn tortillas you can do one of two things - wrap in aluminum foil and pop them in the oven OR for a faster finish wrap them in a wet paper towel and throw in the microwave for a minute or so. 
  5. Finally, it's time to EAT!!! Take a warm corn tortilla and spread with the sour cream sauce, next add some steak and finally some slaw. Yummy!!
**Reference Recipe: Cooking Light April 2008
Nutrition Information: 
Serving Size: 2 tacos
Calories: 450 calories/serving

I'm Back!!

In case you haven't heard, my hair has grown back!!!!

The good news is, I finished treatment 3 months ago and still haven't had any bald patches. The bad news is, between the steroid injections last year and the mild depression I experienced losing all my hair, I've gained weight. A lot of weight. I tried to lose the weight by cutting things out and dieting here and there, but dieting just doesn't work for me.

In an attempt to shed the pounds, I've decided to reinvigorate my blog with healthy recipes that actually taste good! If I can still cook and still eat foods that taste delicious, then I'm much more likely to do well. I like to take recipes I find in Cooking Light and other healthy websites, then add my own twist and spin to them.

Be on the look out for great recipes coming from me soon!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


10 sessions, 3 weeks per session... 30 weeks since I started treatment. It's been over a year since I first started losing my hair. When I think back to the past year, I of course think of my wedding and my amazing honeymoon, but I also think of the emotional turmoil I have been through. It started with shock and denial, escalated with anger and embarrassment, and ultimately culminated in what my therapist called a "mild depression." The depression led to overeating, less exercise and subsequently a significant weight gain. A new year signifies new beginnings, and although it is February, I am finally realizing that significant changes are in order if I truly want to put the past behind me.

My first step was of course treatment and making myself feel better as I came out of my shell and reentered society. Treatments have been incredible. Every three weeks I go in to have an abrasive chemical put onto my scalp. It burns, it itches, and often it blisters and peels. It certainly hasn't been fun. In fact, in spite of nurse Janette's upbeat attitude, it has been miserable. But yesterday, when I took my hat off and my jolly nurse looked down at my scalp, she couldn't believe what she was seeing. Her staff had been treating me the past few months, so it had been a while since she'd seen me.

"You are doing so well!" she exclaimed. "I love seeing success stories. Your hair is just so beautiful."

My hair? Beautiful? I almost began laughing. I sat back and prepared for my scalp to be drenched in acid. She took the end of her giant Q-tip and began running it through my hair, inspecting all my bald spots, searching for new ones. By now I was used to the drill so I concentrated on the book I had in my hand.

"You know," she began, "on your next visit you should make an appointment with Dr. Cruz."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, you are doing extremely well. I think you are ready to be dismissed. I just need to put a little here and a little there, and other than that you are good."

She had literally barely put anything on my scalp. Dismissed? Done? Is this really happening? Had my hair actually grown back? The good news was more than I could take. I thought it would be years since I would hear something like that. Tears instantly started welling up in my eyes. This is really happening!

So now that my hair is on the mend, it is time to take a hard look at my other issue. The long-lasting result of my depression - the weight gain. It's time to fully focus on getting myself healthy and fit again. I really don't know where to begin, but I know I will figure it out. I have so much support - my family, my husband, my friends. I tackled allopecia, I've got to be able to tackle this. I just need to develop a game plan...