cucumber, goat cheese and salami appetizer

cucumber, goat cheese and salami appetizer

This is possibly the easiest appetizer you’ll ever make. Unless you count pre-made appetizers that you just microwave or bake but this one may even rival those because there is literally no cooking involved in this recipe. It’s just assembling.

It’s also perfect for summer because it’s light and refreshing, and like I mentioned above, you don’t have to turn your stove top or your oven on. I don’t know about you but I eat a TON of cucumber in the summer. It’s full of water and the crisp texture is great for a quick, healthy summer snack. Add some cool, creamy goat cheese and a piece of salami and you got it made. Literally.

Bonus: It’s only 3 ingredients! (more…)

Pasta with sausage and spinach pesto

pasta with sausage and spinach pesto

Let me start off by saying this is not the healthiest of dishes…Yes, it has healthy components like a whole bag of spinach and a bunch of mushrooms, but pasta is the base and it’s loaded with parmesan cheese and olive oil and pine nuts (as most pestos are). So, if you’re trying to eat healthy this may not be the dish for you. But if you’re looking to treat yourself and still want to eat something nutritious, this recipe is totally worth the calories. Also, read on if you’d like to know how to still enjoy a dish like this but not ingest a ton of calories.

I recently lost 10 pounds and have been trying to keep it up and eat healthier…but I also love food. Anyone who has looked at this blog for more than two seconds should know that. And I’ve learned that I can’t ALWAYS deprive myself of the stuff I want to eat. I’ve also learned that I can’t ALWAYS just go for it either. So, I made a bit of a compromise and for those of you who also love food and pasta but are trying to eat healthier or lose weight or cut carbs or whatever, this is what I did with this dish to alleviate a bit of the guilt. (more…)

Black bean and butternut squash chili

black bean and butternut squash chili

I almost never serve a meal without vegetables, but, if I’m being honest, that doesn’t always mean the meal is completely guilt free. It has healthy components, but there are usually some guilty pleasures involved too. Not so much with this dish. I’ve been on a pretty strict diet which has involved serious calorie cutting and sticking to a basic clean eating plan. This black bean and butternut squash chili fits the bill. I cheated a bit with the beer, but it really adds a ton of flavor and when all the other ingredients are guilt free I figured using beer as part of the cooking liquid wasn’t that bad. If you want you can omit it and just add more vegetable or chicken stock. (more…)

Spicy sausage and lentil soup

Spicy sausage & lentil soup

A few weekends ago I went to Carrabba’s Restaurant for lunch. I don’t go to Carrabbas that often but when I do it’s hard for me to pass up their spicy sausage and lentil soup. It’s probably my favorite thing on their menu. As I was eating it for lunch that day, I thought to myself, this can’t be too hard to make. I tried to really taste the different flavors and components so I could replicate it at home. And I think this recipe comes pretty close. It may not be exactly the same as Carrabbas famous soup but it’s close enough, and really delicious. (more…)

Best brunch I’ve had in a long time

croque monsieur - Pascale & Sabine

I’m obsessed with brunch lately. And although New York City, with it’s plethora of fantastic brunch restaurants, isn’t far away, sometimes I don’t want to make the trip. But finding local places that do brunch well isn’t that easy. Princeton definitely has some notable places but I’ve pretty much tried them all. I came across Pascale and Sabine via an internet search a few months ago and I’ve wanted to try it ever since. It got great reviews on Trip Advisor and the menu looked promising. And although I’d like to sample the dinner menu as well, the brunch menu is what really stood out to me. I added it to my list of restaurants I must try and finally got around to stopping in this past weekend. (more…)

Healthy stuffed sweet potato skins

healthy stuffed sweet potato skins

I very rarely buy sweet potatoes. I know, I know. They are super healthy and packed with loads of vitamins and nutrients. They are really filling and great for muscle building. I know. It’s not that I don’t like them, unless they are candied and topped with marshmallows. Yuck. I’ve never been into that Thanksgiving staple. But in most cases, I like them. I guess I just find them a bit boring? Unless you eat them like this…In which case, the fat content in the rest of the ingredients probably outweighs the health benefits of the sweet potatoes. Anyway, sweet potatoes can be boring if they are baked and served plain alongside some kind of a roast. Blah. (more…)

Huevos Rancheros Oven Bake

Huevos Rancheros Oven Bake

Can I just say, being housebound is sometimes a fabulous thing. I probably wouldn’t appreciate it every weekend, but sometimes a snow day is exactly what the doctor ordered. All of our weekend plans were canceled due to super storm Jonas, the blizzard that pummeled the Northeast with about two feet of snow this weekend, and we were forced to stay home and…just be. It was a beautiful thing. I got to binge watch some new TV shows, read Drums of Autumn (so good!), and play in the snow with my two dogs, the hubs, and my two good friends. I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed and refreshed. I also got to cook up a storm in the kitchen, which is so much fun for me. The cleanup not so much, but the cooking part and the eating part usually make it worth it. Perhaps my favorite recipe I made this weekend, is this Huevos Rancheros oven bake. (more…)

Spicy chickpea curry

spicy chickpea curry

When I’m perusing the buffet at an Indian restaurant, there are a couple of staple dishes I always get excited about. Chana Masala happens to be one such dish. When I eat chana masala, I’m convinced I could be a vegetarian. It’s everything I want in a dish. Hearty chickpeas, spicy tomato sauce. Serve it with a piece of warm naan bread and I’m in heaven.

This spicy chickpea curry is my quick and easy version of chana masala. There are tons of variations and recipes for chana masala but I promise, this is a good one. (more…)

Spicy braised kale

Spicy braised kale

I always do this. I tell myself I’m going to lose weight for an event and then suddenly the event is one month away and bummer, I’ve only lost 2 pounds. Needless to say, I’m in that same scenario now. So, I’m on a very strict diet/cleanse for the next week or so and I’m not going to lie to you guys, it sucks. It really really sucks. But you know what? It’s working and recipes like this spicy, braised kale make it slightly more bearable. I cheated a bit with the bacon, but 4 thin slices of bacon for 10 oz of kale is not that much right? Hmm…Maybe this type of rationalization is what gets me into trouble in the first place. (more…)

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