AVOCADO SALAD

I stumbled across three recipes today and they all looked so delicious that I had to try it! I’ve been trying to eat healthier and I’m on the search for easy and delicious recipes. I ate this salad for dinner with turkey that I seasoned with spicy taco seasoning mmmhmmmm!

Here’s the recipe

1 lb Roma tomatoes

 1 English cucumber 

1/2 medium red onion, sliced 

2 avocados, diced 

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil 

Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2 Tbsp)

 1/4 cup (1/2 bunch) cilantro, chopped

1 tsp sea salt or 3/4 tsp table salt 

1/8 tsp black pepper 

DIRECTIONS 

Gently stir all the ingredients together, add the salt and pepper just before serving.

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JULY GARDEN UPDATE

Hey guys! Just took a quick walk through my garden to see if anything was ready for picking and I think I found some blue ribbon material! Feast your eyes upon my enormous zucchini! It’s currently a little over 2 feet long and heavy! I’ve never seen one this big and I’m on the lookout for a competition to enter!

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I also have some tomatoes, green beans, corn, bittermelon, cilantro and chives ready to be picked!

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Here are a couple roses that went a little crazy after months and months of no rain. We finally had 3 days of showers!

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I hope your gardens are doing well! Happy growing! ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒบ

BLACK BEANS

When Iย moved to the United States, I was amazed at the variety of foods! Almost every country’s dishes could be found. Immediately I was drawn to Mexican food, my first experience was Taco Bell and needless to say I was sorely disappointed until I had the real deal at a small authentic Mexican restaurant that didn’t even serve cheese on their tacos! The little lady chef muttered “That’s for Americans! We no do that in Mexico!”

I was blown away, the intense flavors, the spiciness, the savoriness and the desserts Oh my goodness! Give me a coconut macaroon every day please! or maybe a cream filled churro dipped in a ton of cinnamon and sugar *drool* but I digress. Since Mexican food is quickly becoming a favorite, I’ve tried to make a few dishes myself. I found this black bean recipe on Food Network. It’s pretty basic, but very tasty and it goes great with tacos, burritos, carne asada, mexican grilled chicken or by itself! I just love the different shades of purple and navy you see after soaking, so pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ingredients
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
Kosher salt
Queso fresco and fresh cilantro, for topping (optional)

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Directions

  1. Soak the beans in a pot of water overnight. Drain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. 11232373_10155538310335431_92394095838773082_o
  3. Add the oregano and the beans, then add enough water to cover (about 9 cups). Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are just tender, about 3 hours. (Usually takes about 90 mins but some beans are just difficult ๐Ÿ™‚ ) ย 11234826_10155538309220431_3610207200900571750_o
  4. Add 2 teaspoons salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 45 minutes. Season with salt. Let sit 15 minutes before serving; top with queso fresco and cilantro, if desired.11145064_10155538306350431_8649880011039190911_o10931639_10155095922915431_9103119380237797008_o

DHAL

Dhal, a staple in Trinidadian cooking. We make this dish alongside curries or to be eaten alone like a soup or with roti *flat bread*. It’s healthy, flavorful and filling.

So funny story, when I was a teenager I was a bit rebellious *What? Really?! No way!*… I know, hard to believe right!? Anyway, my mom was forcing me to learn how to cook and I wanted no part of it, so I was throwing a hissy fit about cooking dhal and deliberately doing it wrong so she would just get mad at me and shoo me away. Well….she didn’t and I got a pot spoon thrown at me and she made me count each grain of dhal *split peas* in the package! Ever since then I’ve hated dhal and refused to make it! *Yeah! I’ll show her!!*

Years later, I’m pregnant and craving dhal and I didn’t know how to make it! According to Caribbean superstition, when you get pregnancy cravings and you don’t satisfy it, your child will be born with a birthmark shaped like what you were craving! And I was not about to have a child with a dhal birthmark on his head! ๐Ÿ˜

Luckily my sister Giselle was visiting me and she is the best dhal maker I know *Yeah! Take that mom!!*, so I paid close attention and wrote down this recipe. I like my dhal not too thick and not too runny, just in the middle.

RECIPE
1 cup yellow split peas
2 1/2 cups water
7 grains garlic
1/2 onion chopped (medium)
1/2 habanero pepper ( keep whole if you want the flavor and not the heat)
1/4 tsp saffron powder
2 pimento peppers finely chopped (or you can use jalapeรฑos)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp whole geera (cumin)

DIRECTIONS

1. Soak split peas for a couple hours and drain.
2. Boil 2 1/2 cups of water and then add the peas.
3. Add the 5 garlic grains, onion, peppers and saffron powder.
4. Let boil until peas are very soft and tender.
5. In a small pan, heat oil and add 2 grains garlic and geera, let it brown over low heat.When the garlic is brown, carefully pour the oil mixture into your split peas. (This process is called chunkaying)

6. Whisk the mixture or puree until smooth and add salt to taste (about a tsp)

TIP: If your dhal is too thick you can add hot water until you get to your desired texture.

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LEMON EVERYTHING!

My lemon tree is totally covered with lemons and no matter how many neighbors I share with or random people I meet on the street *don’t you judge me!*โ€ฆ I just can’t seem to use these bright yellow babies up fast enough!

Soooo I’ve decided to make every lemon recipe I have plus a few new ones! So be on the lookout for lemon bars, lemon meringue, lemon brownies, lemon chicken, lemonade *spiked of course* and many more!

Also if you have any lemon recipes please send them my way!

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier, and lose a little weight, shooting for 25 lbs. So far I’ve lost 15lbs *yay me* but now the weight loss has slowed… or maybe it was that burger and animal fries and milkshake that I had at In n Out ๐Ÿ˜€ *shhhhh*

My friend and I are trying to cut out carbs, flour and rice, which makes meals a little difficult, since I am a bread fiend *sigh*. But I pulled out my trustyย spiralizer and I was determined to make something healthy and delicious. I came up with Roasted lemon, garlic and herb chicken and a mushroom and veggie noodle stir fry.

It’s so much easier to eat veggies when they’re so bright and colorful and it feels like you’re eating pasta ๐Ÿ˜€ *and who doesn’t love guilt free veggie ‘pasta’*

What are you having for lunch today?

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Grilled Salmon and zoodles…caroodles?!?

Ok so I’m not that good with coming up with food names, but its delicious and you should give it a try! It almost felt like summer…until I glanced at the thermometer… Brrrrr *shivers*

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs salmon steaks or fillets
Marinade ingredients
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 tsps Cajun seasoning

Directions

  1. Mix all marinade ingredients and pour over salmon. Marinate for 1 hour. Place salmon on oiled grill at medium heat ( I used a grill pan, too cold to go outside)
  2. Grill for 3 to 4 mins on each side.

The veggie noodle recipe is already in my blog, check it out! Kids *and the big kids* ย love the colors ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. This is my daughter and she is quite the character, while I had my back turned taking pics of the food, she snuck over to the stove and started stuffing her face with salmon… then she quickly covered her face with a mask so I wouldn’t know it was her, but Princess Optimus Prime who stole the fish LOL!!! WTG girl, you really fooled me ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Roasted Garlic Asparagus

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  • 1 3โ„4-2 lbs fresh crisp asparagus
  • 1โ„4ย cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ย 1 tspย lemon zest
  • 1โ„2ย tspย dried oregano
  • 1โ„4ย tsp red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper(to taste)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Heat olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a small pan over low heat until garlic becomes golden and oil becomes fragrant; remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Bend asparagus gently until it breaks at a natural point and discard ends.
  4. Toss asparagus pieces with infused olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet (one with a side edge).
  5. Season asparagus with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast at 400Fย ย for 12 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
  7. Serve hot.

SAUTEED MUSHROOMS AND ONIONS

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  • 1/2ย lb sliced button mushrooms (crimini works as well)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tspย Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4ย tspย garlic salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a frying pan and add the mushrooms and onions; let them cook slowly, over medium heat, until the mushrooms are getting a little brown and the onions are nice and soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. While there’s still some moisture left from the mushrooms, add the Worcestershire sauce, pepper flakes and garlic salt.
  3. The mixture will thicken and it’s ready to serve.
  4. Serve with grilled steak and use leftovers for omelets.