A few thoughts.
I love to talk. Being vulnerable helps me heal. Sharing is caring after all, right?
As warmer weather nears... I'm adding our summer favorites to the dinner menu!!
This is a fav that I learned from my husbands late father. A true Mexicano and cook. His spirit lives in our home, hearts, and food. He and I didn't get much time together, but he added so much value to my life in our short physical time together on earth. Missing you always Tony. ❤️
This simple dish is a household fan favorite! I dare you to try it for yourself and NOT love it! Wink emoticon.
I encourage to purchase your veggies and corn FRESH from your local farmers market, it just makes it that much better. Trust me!
(Veggie friends, you can replace meat with brown rice, or quinoa and stock for veggie! It will be just as filling and delish)
What you'll need: Serves 4
-3 lean pork chops (cut into 1in. pieces)
-2 zucchini squash (medium)
-2 yellow summer squash
-2 large ears of corn (can sub organic frozen corn 1 cup)
-1 cup chicken stock (I use homemade but stock in a box works too)
- S&P to taste
-Drizzle of avocado oil
-Optional ingredients (small white onion & fresh cilantro for garnish. If I have, I sauté onion after browning meat, but not necessary)
-Start by heating pan on med, add oil, and season pork while pan is heating
-Add pork first and brown fully, takes about 10-12 minutes. (Cab add chopped onion now if you wish)
-While meat is browning chop squash, and shuck corn AND cut off the cob, when pork is cooked thoroughly add veggies, but hold corn for now
-Sauté all together for about 7-8 minutes, add corn and stock now and cook for a few more minutes. Purpose is to pull up all the flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan, so get in there and stir!
To serve: Grab a bowl, pile a few scoops high, garnish with cilantro and ENJOY! Simple quick meal that's delicious and healthy!!
Let me know what you think!
Cheers!! Happy Friday!!!
Lets be honest here...it's tough to master being happy every second of the day. It's impossible infact. No one can do it. Social media is simply a highlight reel, and in NO way anything more than what we want others to see.
The beautiful thing is that it's a choice we get to make each day (I wrote a previous blog on choice) so I say choose to be happy.
Now y'all, I'm aware that even my exuberant positivity gets on people's nerves at times. It's ok, I completely understand and I will let you in on a little secret...it's hard to always choose happy. Some days I'd rather just not care about ANYTHING, and hide away too, but I don't. Here's how I cope. I take what's ailing me and I put a positive spin on it. Yep. That's it. I choose NOT to let the weight of insecurities hold me down. Because believe me I have them. We all do.
I'm too fat. I'm too plain. My hair/makeup/style isn't pretty enough. I should be doing more. Why am I always so busy. My success is mediocre compared to her. Doubt and inadequacy all the time. What is my purpose. What do I really want. Sound familiar? Trust me I could go on.
SOOO...here's my hack. If it's a person, I complement. If it's my business, I award my team. If it's my body, I forgive myself and drink a green smoothie. If it's my heart, I encourage myself. Practice good habits and your bad ones will slowly become less and less.
You see crazy thing is...when you see my positive posts or blogs...I would love to tell you it's all for YOU, but it's just not true. Absolutely, I am honored that you read, follow, and at times are moved by my words...but it's for ME. I project positivity for my heart and soul. Now it is very much part of me to listen and love on others, but I "stay so positive" for me. Because just like anything else...happiness isn't a destination. It's a journey and you create habits on your journey. I choose to have 80% of those choices good. I forgive myself often for the rest. Give yourself grace. You deserve it more than anyone. Often we are WAY to hard on ourselves. Especially women. Just stop. Stop it right now.
There's no simple answer to complete happiness, but I'm certain it starts with being kinder to YOU. Understand that you are so very special and I believe you were put here for a purpose. Find it, nurture it, and live happy.
Ideas of habits to start: (Only suggestions. These have all changed my journey)
-Smile at strangers more
-Give leftovers from a restaurant to a homeless person
-Check in on great friends or family once a week
-Send more handwritten cards by snail mail
-Donate that extra dollar at the grocery or pet store
-Be vulnerable with your girlfriends, the true ones will lift you up
-Exercise and eat healthy more often
I'd love to hear your suggestions too!
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a fabulous, HAPPIER week!!
Chili...it's the #1 winter meal for many things...sports, entertaining, and just don't want to leave your house days!! Right!?! Wink emoticon.
This chili has been a favorite in our house for several years now and especially since moving to New England. It's a TexMex take on your traditional chili, but delicious anyway. Long ago, my high school boyfriend, who is from Louisiana, got me hooked on rice with my chili. His beautiful mom used to make it every week and I'll never eat chili any other way! I encourage you to make a pot; grab a good book or movie and snuggle up with the ones you love to devour this one!! My veggies friends you can absolutely leave out the ground beef and enjoy just as much!!!
What you'll need: 6 servings
1 lb. ground beef (I like organic)
1 can Colorado beans (small)
1 can black beans (large)
4 Roma plum tomatoes
1 can San Marzano tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 can Rotel (mild)
1 white onion
2 cups of chicken stock
1 handful fresh cilantro (optional if you dislike or don't keep on hand)
Drizzle of Avocado oil
Brown rice (cooked per package directions for 6 servings, less if you are saving for leftovers, I like to cook my rice fresh each time, but that's me lol)
Spices: Palm full of the following; (2) Cumin, Ground Coriander, White pepper, Chili powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Black Pepper (to taste)
-Start with a large pot on medium heat, add oil to the pan, dice onion and add to the bottom. Cook until softened.
-Add ground beef and brown well, about 7-10 minutes
-Once browned add spices and let them "wake up" for a couple of minutes, then add diced Romas and cook a few minutes.
-Now add beans, can tomatoes, Rotel, and chicken stock, stir and bring to a boil
-Add corn then lower heat to a simmer. Cover pan and cook for 30 minutes
-Taste test and adjust spices to your preference, then cook for another 15 minutes. Can cook for up to an hour, but it's ready to serve at 45.
To Serve; Add rice to a sturdy bowl, then top with chili and enjoy!
I'd love to hear your thoughts OR if you try this one. Post comments below and I thank you for your support!
Happy Cooking y'all!
Tart Cherry Berry Smoothie...
Need a quick fix for refined sugar cravings!?! I've got one that you'll love!
I'll be honest...I don't have a sweet tooth...but when I tell myself I can't have something, then IMMEDIATELY I want ALL of it. For no good reason. Feel me?
Try this yummy healthy treat and let me know what you think!
What you'll need: Serves 2
1 frozen banana (I keep them in the freezer)
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/2 cup frozen dark cherries
1/2 cup tart cherry juice
1 1/2 cups coconut water (for thinner shake add more coco water)
1 serving Chia seeds
Blend together in your favorite blender, add to a large glass, then ENJOY!
Super easy, yummy, and quickly keeps you from eating all the sweets in the house!! Also, it will keep you from that glass of wine at night...but give you the same satisfaction! Promise. Wink emoticon.
Giving up something that's blocking your blessings...is that what it's all about? I think not. That's the thought but...selfishly saying you won't have Diet Coke, Chocolate, or Dairy...in hopes that it will bring you closer to your prayers coming true? Probably not the point. It's not suppose to be a punishment. Or a deal. It's meant to heal and refresh. 40 days to let go of something holding you back, rather than punishing yourself for doing something you know you'll do again anyway.
So I ask you, what separates you from, the best version of YOU? I gather you know what it is, but it's time that you face it. Use this time for reflection, commitment, and all things new. Of course we all hope that we can live a good and fruitful life, but sometimes...well...it just doesn't go down like that.
So here's my confession I suppose, and I hope it breaths life into anyone who feels hopeless. You are not alone.
Alcohol. Geez. Where to begin? So let me start with this...At 31, I can't remember a solid week without alcohol since high school, except for when I traveled to do mission work in Ethiopia last summer. Wow. Yes. That's how I felt when I finally said this out loud last week. So, it seemed fitting to "give it up" for Lent...but more importantly this time is for reflection.
Lent starts on the 10th of Feb and extends to Mar 24th...so I've got a lot of reflection to do right!?! Wink emoticon.
So...I'll start with the last few days to share how incredibly human and transparent I am.
Not having a drink has been difficult. I've attended outings and had bad days that would usually end with several cocktails, but I've held back. It's shockingly frustrating how often I turn to booze as a method to relax. I'm not ashamed, but very aware of the fact that I desperately need more outlets.
I come from a childhood of addiction and although I say I'm not addicted, this is the time to prove it. For many years I've used alcohol as a crutch. Now don't get me wrong...I've had tons of fun with it too, but personally it's time for an honest assessment. These 40 days have started off proving this a good choice. In the past couple of years I've done a lot of soul searching and truly gotten a lot if my "emotions and feels" in check...which is good, but I'm realizing my alcohol has become more of a habit than anything. So, I commit to starting new habits.
First...gym on Saturday. Why? Because hungover gym just doesn't go over well lol, so it will keep me thinking moving forward. Keeping me honest of you will.
Next, hot tea in the evenings. This is be blaming just as much of a habit as my red wine, that turns into 3 glasses really quick while binge watching Netflix.
And...going to bed earlier. I need more sleep. Bottom line. This is just better for our whole household.
So, I'm 5 days in and honestly y'all. I'm enjoying my new habits and I'm 5 lbs down. Winning.
No it's not about weightloss. No it's not about sobriety. It's about making a commitment to myself and my God to break the barrier between something that's been holding me back.
Alcohol has been a comfort, but not my friend. I can't always handle it. It's brought tears, weight, emotions, shame, and truly I can go on and on...so this Lent I am finally done saying, "Oh I NEED a drink", I'm now going to take these 40 days to find and develop new habits that will stick with me even when I add alcohol back in. Because I will.
I'm giving up alcohol to be the best me moving forward. I still have more work to do, but right now I'm dealing with this. One step at a time.
What's your struggle? Are you ready to face if? Know that you aren't alone. The struggle is real.
I'll check in soon. We will do this. Have faith in YOURSELF. That's all you need.
Chinese Chicken Broccoli Bowl...
Hey y'all!!! I've been super busy lately, but wanted to pop in this weekend and share a quick, easy, and delicious favorite of mine!!!
Who doesn't love Chinese takeout right?!? BUT does it leave you feeling regretful sometimes (if you know what I mean) ?? Listen I'm a huge fan of just "needing" an indulgence here and there, but try this recipe for more frequent cravings and see what you think!!
For my veggie friends...leave out the chicken and this will be just as delicious!!! Promise.
What you'll need: (Serves 4+)
- 1 1/2 cups organic chicken stock (I use homemade, but I love a good stock in a box too...can use veggie)
-3 chicken thighs (can use breasts or omit depending on family preference)
- 2 cups frozen broccoli
- 1 1/2 cups chopped organic mushrooms
- 2/3 cup liquid aminos (I use this in place of soy sauce, but use what you've got...I just recommend doing your homework on liquid aminos and why switching could be good for you and your family)
-2 tbsp cornstarch
-1 tbsp oyster sauce (optional)
- Palm full of white pepper
- 1 white onion
- drizzle of avocado oil
-Brown rice (cooked per package directions)
-Combine 1 cup liquid aminos, cornstarch, and chicken (cut into 1 inch pieces) into a large bowl (set aside for 30 minutes) ***this step is SO important. It's called "velveting the chicken" and if you skip it, you'll miss out on that yummy Chinese chicken texture. Trust me.
-Start with a large pan or wok on med heat, add oil, chopped onion and sauté for 6-7 minutes
-Then add mushrooms and white pepper, cook for an additional 6-7 minutes
-Now add chicken and brown, once browned add chicken stock, additional aminos, and oyster sauce, combine
-Add frozen broccoli and stir to combine all ingredients, turn up the heat for only a few minutes to fully activate the corn starch for thickening, don't stop stirring
-After 5, or less, minutes turn heat down and let simmer for a few additional minutes to marry flavors
- Taste test and adjust as needed
Ready to serve: Grab a bowl, add some brown rice and then top with this delicious mixture!!!
Let it cool and add additional liquid aminos for additional Soy Flavor. I think you are going to love it AND a please let me know how you love the veggie option.
This quick lunch or dinner is AMAZING!! It's loaded with flavor AND super healthy!!! You can always use homemade tortilla wraps instead of lettuce, but I love the crunch! Veggie friends, please feel free to leave out the chicken and it's just as satisfying and filling!!! 💚
What you'll need: (serves 4)
-Blender or food processor
-1 cup shredded chicken (use the last of your whole crockpot chicken here so you don't waste a bit!)
-1 can organic chickpeas (drained)
-1/3 bag of organic romaine hearts
-1/3 cup Frank's Redhot Sauce
-1/4 cup of bluecheese for drizzle per wrap (I leave this out because I'm avoiding to much dairy)
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar
-3 ribs of celery (diced, reserve one diced rib for topping)
-2 Roma tomatoes (chopped)
-Drizzle of Avocado Oil (can use oil of choice, but I prefer healthy high heat cooking oils)
-Add Chickpeas, Chicken, and Redhot Sauce to blender and pulse a few times. You want it combined but not puréed
-Prep a pan on med-low heat with the drizzle of your oil, when hot add celery to bottom, let simmer for about 6-7 minutes
-Now add buffalo mix to the pan to warm through, please taste and adjust hot sauce as needed
-Place lettuce cups on the plate, generously scoop buffalo mix to cups
-Add tomato, avocado, and extra celery to top
-Then if interested drizzle with Blue Cheese dressing
Fold and Enjoy!!!! Let me know how you like it!!
Quick Protein Packed Lunch...
Need quick lunch ideas but feel like everything takes SO. MUCH. TIME.??? Check out this next recipe that will give you options for a few days!!
If you made that whole crockpot chicken...here's another way to use it up.
Quick Chicken, Quinoa, Chayote Lunch... (My Veggie friends, you can absolutely leave out the chicken for a protein packed lunch as well)
What you'll need:
Red Quinoa (cooked per package directions, I cook mine in chicken or veggie stock AND add three whole garlic cloves, but that's totally optional. Side note, garlic is SO good for you...so I recommend trying it.)
1 cup shredded chicken (from that whole bird you made in the crockpot)
1 Chayote Squash (can sub zucchini or summer squash)
Drizzle Avocado Oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt & Pepper
-One turn of the pan with your oil, set pan to med-low
-Chop and add Chaotye Squash to the bottom of the pan (this squash has a hard core like an apple, so be sure to chop and remove the core before adding to pan)
-Sauté for about 10 minutes or until soft
-Add Cooked quinoa and chicken to the pan to warm through
-Add spices and lemon juice last and serve warm
Enjoy! Please feel free to adjust any recipes as needed. I provide the cleanest meals I can, but note that cooking is about experimenting, so get creative! Leave comments below!!
Oh boy...I hope you are ready for this goodness!!!!
If there's one thing I LOVE during the winter months...it's a great soup!! Try this recipe and you'll be hooked! It's savory, hearty, and the whole family will love!! I mean who doesn't like chicken pot pie?!? Right?? The only thing missing here is the crust (which you can make separate if you'd like, I'm just not eating gluten so I leave the recipe as is!)
What you'll need:
2 cups shredded chicken (see my crockpot whole chicken recipe from last month) (for my Veggie friends, you can leave this out and sub in veggie stock and it's just as delicious)
1 white onion
2 celery ribs (diced)
1 cup frozen organic corn
1 cup frozen green beans
2 carrots (peeled and diced)
1 cup frozen peas
3 Yukon gold potatoes (skin on, rough chopped)
6 cups Chicken stock (try a homemade stock recipe of you made my whole crockpot chicken)
2 cups water
Drizzle of Avocado Oil
Palm full of thyme (dried)
Salt&Pepper (to taste)
Palm full of White Pepper
2 Tbsp of corn starch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Fresh Parsley (optional for garnish)
-Start with 2 turns of the pan with Avocado Oil (love this high heat oil, do your homework on this one) and heat on Med-Low
-When hot, add onion, carrots, and celery to bottom of the pan. Sauté until soft (7-10 minutes)
-Next add all other veggies, cook for about 5 minutes
-Add Chicken stock (or Veggie stock) and chicken, cover the pan and bring to a boil
*While waiting for the boil...add corn starch to the water, wisk and set aside
-Once soup is boiling add water with corn starch and allow to boil for 5-6 minutes (this gives time for the thickening agent in the corn starch to activate) *if you like a thinner soup you can skip this step, but I don't recommend it!
-Now add potatoes, cover and let them cook in the soup for about 10-12 minutes
-Finish with lemon juice, allow a couple more minutes to cook and you are ready to serve. (Now would be when you'd top with fresh parsley for garnish)
Let cool and Enjoy!! Comment below with questions, I'd love to hear your thoughts!