Tag Archives: eating healthy

What’s for dinner?

30 Apr

It’s been a while since I began the Veg Project and its coming to that time of year again where my biggest weakness: BBQ seems to be all I see, smell, and can think about. This was my breaking point when I was a vegetarian in high school. I am working on trying not to fall into that delicious meaty trap. I still feel like I am making a healthier lifestyle choice to stay away from meat, however I have recently realized that I have been carbo-loading like there’s no tomorrow and that I started eating a ton of sweets since I have been focusing on eliminating meat. I know I need to start eating a healthier vegetarian diet, trust me, it’s easy to fall into the “I’m just going to eat fries everyday because, hey, I’m a vegetarian”. I do diversify my meals as much as possible but I need to keep my meals more natural, less manufactured and practice my least favorite thing: eating in moderation.
So last night I made roasted salmon filet (425 degrees with just a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic for 20 minutes), grilled zucchini planks, grilled shrimp with lemon, salt, garlic powder, and cracked black pepper, and a spinach salad with raspberries, roasted slivered almonds and honey mustard dressing- totally delish.



Fish Dish Delish! Pineapple Ginger Chili Lime Glaze Salmon

26 Apr


I had some salmon filets in my fridge and knew I needed to use them before things got funky. When planning this meal in my mind I realized that I have been making a LOT of Mexican dishes and Italian dishes lately. I couldn’t remember the last time I made something different. I wanted to make something with a fresh flair and this luckily turned out amazing! It was tender and moist, with a beautiful glaze that was fresh, sweet, tangy with a little heat to round it out. I loved it and am definitely going to be making it apart of my regular menus! I hope you love it too!

Pineapple Ginger Chili Lime Glaze Salmon:

2 salmon filets

½ cup pineapple juice

1 clove garlic crushed

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1.5 teaspoons cornstarch

1 lime

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 tablespoon honey

Salt & pepper to taste

Pineapple rings

Serves 2

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spray medium baking dish with non-stick spray and place salmon filets not touching. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and add pineapple rings, place in oven. In a small bowl whisk pineapple juice with soy sauce and cornstarch, add in garlic, chili powder, ginger powder and honey. Zest about ¼ to ½ of the lime and add zest to sauce. Slice lime into wedges and serve with dish upon completion. Cook salmon for 15 minutes and then pour glaze over fish, cook an additional 5 minutes or until fish is cooked all the way through (fish should be flake easily with a fork).

I served this fish over plain ramen noodles and sautéed vegetables. I cooked carrots, broccoli, green and red bell peppers, and onion over high heat in vegetable oil with a little soy sauce, salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic until tender.


Veg Project: Date Night In

2 Apr


A lot of things change when you become a parent, this is not a surprise. There is more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and less God Father marathons, more juice and less cocktails, more diapers and a lot less sleep! One thing that we have been really good about is making sure that we are still going out for date nights and my in-laws definitely help make that happen with their willingness to babysit.  But even when we can’t get out for the night I like to try and make a special effort when I can to not only make a healthy homemade meal for my husband and I, but also make a fancy dinner date. I was lucky enough to have the day off due to Good Friday so I could go grocery shopping and spend time with my daughter and I also had time to plan out a sexy dinner date for my hubby and myself.

What’s for dinner? Spinach and mushroom quiche, a mixed green salad with heirloom tomatoes and homemade balsamic vinaigrette, ricotta and honey on a sourdough baguette with strawberries and white wine. I was inspired after watching an episode of Kelsey’s Essentials on the Cooking Channel, in which she made a similar menu. I have never actually made a quiche before and only had a couple quiche ‘bites’ appetizers over the years and I wasn’t a big fan. But since I started the Veg Project (see: https://amyblandes.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/the-veg-project/) I have made an effort to try some more things that I normally would not have been interested, plus I love being adventurous in the kitchen. I started the menu for Friday with the quiche planned, but then I thought I wanted something to balance out the creamy quiche, so I thought tangy salad dressing, I wanted it to feel like a picnic so I went with the baguette that Kelsey Nixon used in her episode and although I thought my husband (a man who only really likes cheddar cheese) would not be into the ricotta I got it just to try. It was amazing! The quiche was creamy, fluffy, and so full of delicious flavor. Really, the whole menu, the strawberries balanced the baguette with ricotta and honey drizzle, the salad and dressing balanced the creamy cheesy quiche and the wine complimented it all. It was all light, flavorful, and scrumptious!





I adapted a recipe from Kelsey Nixon for the following (for her recipe please see: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/ham-leek-and-gruyere-quiche.html)


2 tablespoons butter

1 package baby spinach chopped

10 crimini mushrooms washed & thinly sliced

1 clove crushed garlic

5 eggs

1 cup whole cream

1 tablespoon corn startch (Kelsey Nixon’s tip- it really works!)

¼ tablespoon Kosher salt

½ tablespon ground black pepper

Dash nutmeg

½ cup finely shredded havarti cheese

½ cup finely shredded gruyere

1 frozen pie shell baked according to package instructions

After the pie shell has been baked, preheat oven to 375 degress. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat, once melted add in mushrooms, saute for approximately 2 minutes coating mushrooms in butter.  Add in spinach and garlic until spinach is wilted and cooked through, remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until blended well. Spread vegetable mixture over the bottom of the cooked pie crust, sprinkle cheese evenly over the vegetables, then carefully pour custard mixture over it. Place in the over on a foil lined large sheet tray (in case of messes). Bake until center is set and crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, serve at room temperature.


For the salad I simply added a mixed greens with halved miniature heirloom tomatoes, sprinkled salt & pepper, and drizzled a homemade vinaigrette over it:

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove crushed garlic

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

I like to put it in a mason jar with a lid and shake well.


The Veg Project: week one

23 Mar

Week one of the Veg Project was actually a little tougher than I originally thought it would be. I thought since I was already making meatless meals for dinner often and choosing veggie burritos over chicken there would be little to no temptations to go down the meat path, but it was hard.
I have grown accustomed to making many meat filled meals that have become staples in this house, so grocery shopping was strange as I found myself going toward the meat counter or starting to reach for the turkey bacon. I quickly remembered to steer away. When browsing Pinterest (one of my favorite past times) I would see a recipe for chicken tortilla soup and think, ‘oh I have to try that… Oh wait, I’m not eating that.’ I was especially challenged going to a local restaurant for a meeting with a lender friend and two of my work associates. We went to a restaurant that I go to often, except I have only even eaten chicken lettuce wraps, chicken tortilla soup, or a chicken stir fry. Knowing I didn’t already have a veg standby lined up I thought it was a good idea to check out the menu prior to leaving for the restaurant. I was having a particularly difficult time picking something, but I settled on a couple options and ended up with a roasted veggie lasagna that was amazing! It’s crazy how ingrained my eating habits are, how automatic it is for me to think ‘hmm I’m hungry, I want a chicken taco.’ But I know it’s just something that I need to retrain my brain to do.
Now it wasn’t all bad, there were a couple easy moments this week like eating at a couple burrito places which offer delish veg burritos and making some great meatless meals which included veggie burgers with spinach and raspberry salad, baked salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts, and spicy corn, peppers, jack cheese stuffed portabello mushroom caps with roasted sweet potatoes. This change of diet has been made easier since my husband has gotten on board. He is not participating in the Veg Project (he’s not converting to be a pesco-lacto-ovo vegetarian) but has been completely fine with me cutting meat out of our dinners and been supportive of me when I had challenging moments.
I have also checked in with my Veg Project buddy and she said she’s feeling good and thinks that the meat free diet is actually helping her with her digestion. Most people don’t choose to go cold turkey when giving pretty much anything up, but I know myself and I know that if I am still consuming the thing I’m giving up that it can be a very slippery slope and I won’t succeed. So cold turkey it is!
Week one: done and no cheating (brownie points!).


Above is one my favorite summer salads: tender baby spinach, tart & fruity raspberries, dry roasted slivered almonds, & tangy low fat honey mustard dressing. Totally refreshing!