Thursday, September 5, 2013

Salmon + Cilantro Rice Tower

Photographs certainly do not offer this dish due justice, as the taste was remarkably amazing. True, I am partial to my cooking but when a new recipe is taste-tested by a gentleman and approved, doesn't that give it a few added brownie points?? Luckily, I have not yet had to resort to bribery when it comes to sampling something I've crafted together. (Ahhhhh the beauty of having brothers in my midst!) And so, tonight's words from the 'food critic': "...hmmm...this is actually pretty GOOD...!" :)

This was a random inspiration, decided on after browsing a cooking magazine and a gourmet photo caught my eye, thus prompted some research and hence the recipe: Salmon + Cilantro Rice Tower.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Maple Nut Granola

Having acquired several granola recipes over the past months, it was time to replenish my dry goods cupboard as well as include a healthy accompaniment to those fresh summer berries. The beauty of granola is that one can be an artist of sorts: creatively combining various ingredients to make their favorite varieties. To date, I have yet to find THE 'golden granola' recipe which may inspire I keep it under lock & key... ;) But that does not stop the creativity from striking.  Hence, without further adieu, the Maple Nut Granola recipe.

  2 c raw oats
  3/4 c unsweetened coconut flakes
  1/2 c sliced almonds
  1/2 c chopped pistachios
  1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  1/8 tsp ground cloves
  1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  1/4 c pure maple syrup
  1/2 tsp almond extract

  1. Preheat oven to 275F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, syrup and extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir to coat.
  3. Transfer all to 9"x 12" glass dish and spread evenly.
  4. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown. Turn off oven but do not remove granola until completely cooled and set. Remove from oven and use spatula to release granola and break up any large pieces. Store in an airtight container.  Makes 6 cups.

*Note* Feel free to discover creative alternatives with nuts and seeds. I added 2 Tbsp flax and hemp seeds to the dry ingredients.  This recipe was adapted from Clean Food Revised Edition. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fitness Closet

Fitness Girl Problems:

1) having more workout clothes in my closet vs work + going out outfits. Yes, that's a REAL problem! :)

2) the 'Active Wear' section of the store is the first place I go to the minute I step through the doors. It's not intentional...

3) Buying not one but TWO pairs of athletic shoes is perfectly normal.

4) No matter how much I downsize my closet, there's always some tees that get deemed as 'gym' bound...

5) Every New Years Eve finds me resolving to become more fashionable: street smart and edgy. And I am getting better. But...

In truth, most days I not only sleep in yoga pants but go out and about in comfy attire. Although it's athletic and casual, I realize I must find a happy balance within my closet. It is true though, I am most CONTENT being in my element. And that's all that matters. :) 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tuscan-Style Grilled Tuna Steak w/ Strawberry Spinach Salad

Tuscan-Style Grilled Tuna Steak w/ Strawberry Spinach Salad
Found an appealing Tuna Steak recipe and although I cut the serving size to accommodate my dinner needs, it was nonetheless flavored with fresh herbs which complimented the fish, grilled to perfection and enjoyed with STRAWBERRY SPINACH Salad & Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing, Yes, this is SO my type of night... :)
Another week successfully completed - both physically and nutritionally. Here's to others out there, facing their fears, triumphing over goals big and small, and greeting each day with a fresh new start.

Every day is a journey and this Italian Year has been just as such. These days I make ~3 Italian meals/dishes per week as that is about all my stomach can handle. Something about the combination of the rich ingredients, introduced daily was wreaking havoc on my system. Thus in order to preserve my sanity, shape and genuine first love of all things Italian, a slight modification to this 'Italian Diet' was a necessity! I still very much LOVE Italian food, and have been researching possible Wine & Dine trips I can join next year. One way or another, I shall make it to that beautiful country of my youthful dreams...and experience it first hand. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blackened Salmon w/ Pineapple Salsa

Blackened Salmon is my favorite! Spicy yet sweet, flavorful yet still so loyal to the freshness of the wild-caught fish. Topped with fresh made Pineapple Salsa... D E L I C I O U S! Love it for dinner over steamed rice and accompanied with veggies. Or topped on a salad for a light lunch. Can't imagine life any other way but the HEALTHY way. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Breakfast Scramble

Woooohoooo!! It almost feels like it should be mandatory having a random day off mid-week. This morning was about a gym workout; followed by picking up a Chai Tea Latte and walking it to a coworker; talking a stroll uphill in the drizzle; and enjoying whipping up a tasty bite:

-sauteed tofu
-red & green onion, chopped
-sweet peppers, diced
-white & crimini mushrooms, sliced

All sauteed & seasoned. Topped with avocado, campari tomatoes (yummy!), fresh dill.
One word: AMAZING!

The beautiful thing about breakfast: SO many delicious combinations and options. The possibilities are endless. I love finding new breakfast ideas. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

 It's never too late to start making those lifestyle changes: fitness - food - habits - choices...

First step: BEGIN!
Next: keep going...don't give up!

Results are achieved by putting in effort and realizing that no one else but yourself can and WILL be the change you wish to see in your life. Stay positive and whatever motivates you, hold onto that and remind yourself of your goals when you face a particularly challenging moment.

YOU got this! :) 

Bachelorette Berry Cupcakes

These berry cupcakes were created for my sister Liya's bachelorette party this weekend. Not only were they DELICIOUS that night, but here I am, back in Seattle and wishing I had this tiny shot of sweetness first thing in the morning! (sheepish grin here...)

Although these turned out amazingly perfect, the creator and modifier of recipes in me is wanting to try one more version before posting the recipe. Some changes I made to these cupcakes:

*pureed 1 cup of fresh strawberries & substituted them instead of 1 egg & 1/2 cup of butter.
*used olive oil instead of butter to keep cake consistency moist yet not fall apart.
*what I am aiming for in the next recipe: using fruit extract for coloring. So stay posted...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blackberry Smoothie

It's no secret I LOVE smoothies! :) Therefore there's plenty of opportunities to include incredible combinations into one's daily meals, especially pre/post workouts.

Today is no exception: waking up to creative smoothies swirling in my mind and I bounded out of bed and headed straight to the gym, knowing there was all sorts of goodness waiting to be made and tasted later. Needless to say I spoiled myself post workout and didn't go anywhere but my deck, enjoying my treat:

     1/2 cup blackberries
     1/2 cup blueberries
     2-medium sized kale leaves, chopped
     1/2 cup greek yogurt
     1 tsp honey
Blend berries, yogurt, kale, honey. Pour into glass and top with hemp/flax/chia/seeds of choice. 

Friday, June 14, 2013


HAPPY FRIDAY! This morning was about pushing myself beyond the comfort zone: I'm soaked but feeling super proud and incredible.

Thanks to my TIU team and inspiring trainers, I joined the ranks of thousands of other fitness minded and health driven folks in posting photos of inspiration on Instagram, whether those be of delicious meals, outdoor adventures, or gym accomplishments.

For those not familiar with TIU, it stands for Tone It Up, created by friends and trainers Karina & Katrina (check out their webpage here). This week I was fondly remembering when those gals first started out and am incredibly pleased to see how far they have come - not only being featured in several fitness magazines but also putting out their own fitness DVDs. It's inspiring. Reminds me of my college friend and roomie. She was a HUGE source of motivation and I marveled at her inner strength to stay focused on her fitness goals: To never give up no matter what barriers where before her. Here's to my Shays out there! YOU may very well be inspiring someone without realizing it. So never give up. Always stay strong. :)