Jul
11

Why are burgers so freakin’ delicious? I’m serious. Turkey burgers, chicken burgers, bites of Tony’s heart-attack double bacon burgers. Oh and isn’t it just convenient that they are constantly paired with the other most addictive food in the world… aka french fries?!

My willpower around juicy burgers and hot, crispy french fries = zero.

So, what’s a girl who is trying to eat healthy but has a massive craving for a burger to do?

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Jul
02

I feel as though I’ve been waiting forever for humid summer nights. And my goodness are they here. Smoky BBQ meat, fresh juicy watermelon, and frozen yogurt has taken over my life and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it.

As you’ve probably seen via my Instagram, I’ve been taking a few summer trips. Along the way, I find myself eating out and enjoying food relative to each state’s culture. Often times, I’ll order some sort of chopped salad; each one being more unique than the last. In New Mexico, I enjoyed a BBQ Chicken salad with green chile, chickpeas, jicama, mango, red pepper and an incredible cumin-lime dressing. In Minnesota, I often munch on my Healthy Chicken Chickpea Chopped salad and mix up the dressings. When in North Carolina visiting Tony, I gravitate to greek salads with red potatoes, grilled onions, olives, and loads of feta cheese.

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May
07

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing - light, lovely and so delicious!

I’ve been getting back into vinyassa yoga lately. Most of the time I do yoga sculpt classes with weights, but recently I’ve needed some deep stretching and some major stress relief. The mind-body connection that yoga brings me is often times my favorite part of the class; I’m more self-aware, compassionate, and thoughtful with each class. I’ve also noticed that my anxiety diminishes.

The other day my instructor was talking about how you have to be brave in order to become your true self. How you have to go beyond what you think you’re capable of if you want to make something happen. Take a chance on something or someone.

Little conversations like those push me to be better. I’m happy to have the ability to to make choices, change my future and create opportunities that I would have never thought possible. Thus on my journey to having a clear mind with less stress, I’m also focusing on having a healthy body. Eating clean, preparing my meals, and taking care of myself is so important.

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing - light, lovely and so delicious!

This past weekend I made a big batch of this summery salad (with fall flavors?) My mom came over to help taste test, and she absolutely loved it. We enjoyed it cold served with some greek yogurt.

This salad was inspired by my favorite little meal at Whole Foods made with couscous. Every time I’m there I search for it.

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing - light, lovely and so delicious!

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Jan
29

A healthy sesame chicken stir fry with veggies and an incredible coconut-ginger brown rice! You’re going to love this easy meal! 

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut-Ginger Brown Rice + Crushed Cashews

So you probably know by now that traveling is one of my favorite things to do. Isn’t it amazing how traveling the world can open up your eyes to new feelings, people, and things that you’d never thought you’d do or see? Each time I go somewhere new, I’m learning something about myself. And guess where I’m going next? Australia!

My boyfriend and I are leaving in less than 2 weeks; we’re beyond excited to explore beautiful beaches, surf, snorkel, relax, hike, and eat amazing food.

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut-Ginger Brown Rice + Crushed Cashews

Speaking of amazing food, I’ve been trying to keep things light in preparation for my trip. A body like Beyoncé is on my list To-Do List for 2014, but I have to admit that it’s pretty hard to make that happen when you work at a place that makes cake products, frosting, cereal, and more. Basically I just eat all day.

I do feel like I’m off to a good start though; my workouts are consistent and I’ve been eating well. I’m really into clean eating lately (minimal processed foods). Since I LOVE  Mexican and Asian flavors, I’ve been enjoying a lot of vegetarian taco salads and veggie packed meals like this chicken sesame stir fry!

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut-Ginger Brown Rice + Crushed Cashews

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Jan
12

A delicious vegan and gluten free kale detox salad with an incredible lemon dressing — you’ll make this again and again!

Today I want to tell you about one of my favorite salads. Yes, it’s a sort of ‘detox salad’.

My mom first made it for me for me three years ago. I adore the recipe for so many reasons: it’s fresh, bright, and flavorful. Plus you can add nearly anything to it to dress it up.

If you’ve never had kale before, this salad is perfect to start with!

The reason I call this a detox salad because not only is it vegan and gluten free, but it also has an incredible amount of good for you ingredients in it.

Side note: I’m watching Dawson’s Creek right now. Paceyyyyyyyy!

Sorry… back to the salad.

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Dec
30

Healthy banana waffles made incredibly fluffy and light with quinoa flour. They’re crispy on the outside and nice and light in the middle – the way a waffle should be. Best of all they’re good for you, and filling!

It’s been a while! How was your Christmas? Did you eat  too many Oreo balls? Consume too much cheese? Stuff your face with finger food until you just couldn’t anymore? Make a cake with over 6 sticks of butter?

Okkayyyyyy maybe that was me. Oops!

I’m so ready for 2014 you guys! Not just because I feel like it’s a fresh start but because I like getting back to the root of things and into a routine. Each new year I like to take a little bit of time to reevaluate what’s important in life and to find a little inner peace.

Oh and I think I forgot to mention that I turned 25 last week! Each year I’m feeling more appreciative. My boyfriend flew in from Chicago to help me celebrate. When I picked him up from the airport, he had a bouquet of lilies (my favorite) to give me; we try and keep things romantic as usually our time together is short and sweet. Now I’m writing to you from Chicago, where we celebrated his birthday. We plan on seeing a few good movies, going ice skating, and relaxing until the New Year.

But of course, I had to take some time to blog about these incredible waffles. I wish you could see how serious I am about them; they are SO easy to make. To keep them light, I used bananas, egg whites, and almond milk. There’s no butter or oil, and they’re gluten free, too! I love chocolate chips in my pancakes and waffles so I added a few, but you can always leave them out if you aren’t a fan.

I shared a few with my Mom because I wanted to get her opinion. She said they were the BEST waffles everrrrrrrrr.

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Sep
27

When I was growing up, rice and beans, empanadas, enchiladas, and posole were common in our house. My Mother not only cooked with Puerto Rican flavor, but she cooked with love. Isn’t it funny how you never forget home-cooked comfort meals or just how the brain associates food with comfort and memories? I find it extraordinary.

Sometimes just the slightest smell of garlic, chili peppers and cilantro bring childhood moments rushing back to me. I remember my Mother soaking pinto beans overnight and preparing the fluffiest Spanish rice to serve with her famous enchiladas. My brother always requested posole and tamales, so of course we’d have a feast for an entire week. Often times we felt like our bellies might explode, but the truth is our hearts were full and content. Funny enough, my brother and I never got sick of home-cooked meals or those carb-packed leftovers. We still crave them to this day. In fact, there have been years where we have requested enchiladas, Spanish rice, and posole for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Perhaps again this year.

Sadly, I can never recreate my Mother’s meals to perfection. Even if she gives me the recipe, it’s not quite the same. But of course, I am my Mother’s daughter. Therefore you should know I make some pretty incredible enchiladas. Like these!

These enchiladas are a bit different. Maybe a little unique. Certainly if you’ve never had sweet potatoes and BBQ sauce together, you need to try these. It’s one of the most delightfully flavorful combinations out there. The addition of chicken reminded me a little of CPK’s BBQ chicken pizza. Yum, yum. HOLY YUM.

I also love these because they’re quite simple to make. I baked them for my Mother actually and she LOVED them! I would totally bake them for a boyfriend though; we all know that men basically live for either BBQ or buffalo sauce.

These particular enchiladas are layered. It’s much easier to make them this way as you don’t need to worry about rolling tortillas when they’re already stuffed. Just layer, add sauce and cheese, and layer again!

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Sep
09

It’s been incredibly warm in Minnesota so I’ve been trying to workout outside as much as possible. Yesterday I biked 15 miles; my legs are feeling a little tired today! I find that drinking lots and lots of water helps with all of the aches. That and a giant spoonful of peanut butter. Hehe.

My meals are all prepared for the week, too! I’m trying to eat clean so I baked garlic chicken, and roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. I also made some delicious gluten free pumpkin bars, and sauteed kale & garden veggies. I don’t have much free time on the weeknights so my meals need to be ready. Plus it helps me to stay on track when trying to eat right.

Last week I made this delicious vegetarian chili packed with lentils & quinoa. Mmmmmm!

This chili reminded me of my sweet potato and black bean quinoa chili; the flavors are very similar and deeeelicious!

So much goodness goes into a pot: lentils, quinoa, black beans, kidney beans, red pepper, fresh tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, plus a touch of curry powder.

Let’s not forget about the nutrition: a little over 300 calories, 17g of fiber, and 18g of protein. This chili will fill you up!

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