Semper Paratus et Coctus
Pan-Seared Jerk Grouper & Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Fish Sauce Vinegarette!

Fish: heat 3T of oil in a pan over medium heat, sear 2 grouper fillets sprinkled with jerk seasoning, 4 min each side until cooked through and flaky.

Thanks to Crepesofwrath.net for the awesome sprouts recipe they posted, with the vinegarette from the famous Momofuku restaurant—truly addictive!

http://crepesofwrath.net/2013/03/20/momofukus-roasted-brussels-sprouts/

Pan-Seared Jerk Grouper & Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Fish Sauce Vinegarette!

Fish: heat 3T of oil in a pan over medium heat, sear 2 grouper fillets sprinkled with jerk seasoning, 4 min each side until cooked through and flaky.

Thanks to Crepesofwrath.net for the awesome sprouts recipe they posted, with the vinegarette from the famous Momofuku restaurant—truly addictive!

http://crepesofwrath.net/2013/03/20/momofukus-roasted-brussels-sprouts/

Steamed Broccoli & Squash Salad w/ Tahini Dressing!
Get the recipe here:
http://www.wholeliving.com/151380/steamed-broccoli-and-squash-tahini-dressing

Steamed Broccoli & Squash Salad w/ Tahini Dressing!
Get the recipe here:
http://www.wholeliving.com/151380/steamed-broccoli-and-squash-tahini-dressing

Beef Soba Noodle “Faux” Phô!
I LOVE me some phô…and though I have found a suitable place in downtown Key West that offers amazing steamed pork belly dumplings and a vegetarian version of this tasty Vietnamese classic, I still favor the authentic version featuring raw beef strips, tendon, and tripe. To make this soup…well, all the recipes I’ve perused online seem time-consuming and complex, to say the least…boiling bones? Yellow rock sugar? 6 or more spices? Not that I don’t appreciate the complexity of phô, it’s rich history, or the time recipe authors take to post these dishes so home cooks can replicate them, but I was fresh from the gym, hungry, and eager to eat, like, NOW.
Thanks to chefinyou.com, and fellow cook “DK” who posted this, I was able to make a few changes and get my phô fix in a fairly painless and speedy way! It is soooo delicious! Enjoy!
http://chefinyou.com/2010/06/soba-noodle-soup-recipe/
My changes: I know most traditional versions have rice noodles, but I liked the above link featuring buckwheat soba noodles since I enjoy them so much (wheat = yum!); I used chicken stock because that’s all I had on hand at home, though beef stock would have been awesome as well; I added some thinly sliced raw steak to the bowl at the end (don’t worry, the heat from the broth cooks it perfectly once it’s stirred in), as well as garnishes of basil, bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly sliced jalapeño, cilantro sprigs, and a sprinkle of fish sauce and spicy chili sauce.

Beef Soba Noodle “Faux” Phô!

I LOVE me some phô…and though I have found a suitable place in downtown Key West that offers amazing steamed pork belly dumplings and a vegetarian version of this tasty Vietnamese classic, I still favor the authentic version featuring raw beef strips, tendon, and tripe. To make this soup…well, all the recipes I’ve perused online seem time-consuming and complex, to say the least…boiling bones? Yellow rock sugar? 6 or more spices? Not that I don’t appreciate the complexity of phô, it’s rich history, or the time recipe authors take to post these dishes so home cooks can replicate them, but I was fresh from the gym, hungry, and eager to eat, like, NOW.

Thanks to chefinyou.com, and fellow cook “DK” who posted this, I was able to make a few changes and get my phô fix in a fairly painless and speedy way! It is soooo delicious! Enjoy!

http://chefinyou.com/2010/06/soba-noodle-soup-recipe/

My changes: I know most traditional versions have rice noodles, but I liked the above link featuring buckwheat soba noodles since I enjoy them so much (wheat = yum!); I used chicken stock because that’s all I had on hand at home, though beef stock would have been awesome as well; I added some thinly sliced raw steak to the bowl at the end (don’t worry, the heat from the broth cooks it perfectly once it’s stirred in), as well as garnishes of basil, bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly sliced jalapeño, cilantro sprigs, and a sprinkle of fish sauce and spicy chili sauce.

Seared Tuna Steak & Lemon-Dijon-Dill Sauce!

Tasty, protein-packed, and oh-so-simple!  The “Best Meals/Workouts for Your Body Type” that I’ve been touting all week had Miso Salmon on the menu, but my budget had other ideas. So, I picked up some flash-frozen tuna steaks instead, and searched for a combination of my favorite flavors for fish: dill, lemon, and a hint of sinful creaminess ;)

Thanks to this post by the Cooking Club of America, I found my go-to tuna recipe that’s a cinch to prepare:

http://www.cookingclub.com/Recipes/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/6156/Pan-Seared-Tuna-with-Lemon-Dill-Sauce

2.5 minutes per side left it a bit on the medium side for me… Next time I’ll try 1.5 min on each side for a more tender, pinker tuna.  I’d also possibly add a splash of white wine to the pan sauce for that extra scrumptiousness. Enjoy!

Seared Tuna Steak & Lemon-Dijon-Dill Sauce!

Tasty, protein-packed, and oh-so-simple! The “Best Meals/Workouts for Your Body Type” that I’ve been touting all week had Miso Salmon on the menu, but my budget had other ideas. So, I picked up some flash-frozen tuna steaks instead, and searched for a combination of my favorite flavors for fish: dill, lemon, and a hint of sinful creaminess ;)

Thanks to this post by the Cooking Club of America, I found my go-to tuna recipe that’s a cinch to prepare:

http://www.cookingclub.com/Recipes/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/6156/Pan-Seared-Tuna-with-Lemon-Dill-Sauce

2.5 minutes per side left it a bit on the medium side for me… Next time I’ll try 1.5 min on each side for a more tender, pinker tuna. I’d also possibly add a splash of white wine to the pan sauce for that extra scrumptiousness. Enjoy!

Spicy Chicken & Pasta!

Everybody loves a little heat, and this one sure does deliver (without assaulting your tastebuds overly much)! A great recovery meal after a tough workout, and packed with lean protein and good-for-you carbs and nutrients, I applaud Women’s Health for providing yet another tasty dinner recipe to go along with their “Best Meals/Workouts for Your Body Type” plan.

Here is the recipe (the only changes I made were to use 3/4 of the chili powder it indicated, tossing the chicken in the spice before adding to the pan, and to cook the noodles just 2-3 min shy of al dente before cooking for another 4 minutes more in with the sauce so the pasta could soak it all up…I also added a sprinkle of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes once plated):
http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/spicy-chicken-and-pasta.aspx

See previous posts for a link to this great regimen of strength training, cardio, and easy to prepare meals day-by-day to help you stay on track with your fitness goals and feed your body the fuel it craves! It is tailored to your specific body type, which is pretty clever, I think.

I’ve lost a couple pounds so far and I’m only on day 3 or so—can’t beat that! Enjoy! :)

Spicy Chicken & Pasta!

Everybody loves a little heat, and this one sure does deliver (without assaulting your tastebuds overly much)! A great recovery meal after a tough workout, and packed with lean protein and good-for-you carbs and nutrients, I applaud Women’s Health for providing yet another tasty dinner recipe to go along with their “Best Meals/Workouts for Your Body Type” plan.

Here is the recipe (the only changes I made were to use 3/4 of the chili powder it indicated, tossing the chicken in the spice before adding to the pan, and to cook the noodles just 2-3 min shy of al dente before cooking for another 4 minutes more in with the sauce so the pasta could soak it all up…I also added a sprinkle of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes once plated):
http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/spicy-chicken-and-pasta.aspx

See previous posts for a link to this great regimen of strength training, cardio, and easy to prepare meals day-by-day to help you stay on track with your fitness goals and feed your body the fuel it craves! It is tailored to your specific body type, which is pretty clever, I think.

I’ve lost a couple pounds so far and I’m only on day 3 or so—can’t beat that! Enjoy! :)

Penne with Chicken Marengo!

Oddly enough, citrus goes well with chicken and pasta, I discovered tonight. I was pleasantly surprised by this dish from Women’s Health, which pulled me out of my old way of thinking oranges and chicken should be reserved as a glaze for Cornish hens or that age-old guilty Chinese restaurant pleasure, orange chicken (oh how I love those deep-fried and battered nuggets of sin).

Day 2 of Women’s Health’s “Best Workout/Meals for Your Body Type” (I’m a “pear”, if anyone is curious to know…lots of junk-in-the-trunk and proud of it) proved to be a tasty one. See my post from yesterday for dinner from my first day on this diet. “Diet” is such a dirty word… But this magazine has proved to be not only manageable but very delicious and filling, so I’m encouraging you to give these recipes a try and improve your health while possibly shocking your unsuspecting tastebuds into  culinary bliss with these good-for-you meals that will give you energy, help you shed pounds, and ultimately help you look at food not only as a luxurious experience but also as the essential fuel it was meant to be!

Here is the recipe….my only changes were using a few spoonfuls of canned, diced tomatoes in lieu of the sun-dried tomatoes and Mrs. Dash seasoning in place of the thyme—Enjoy!

http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/penne-with-chicken-marengo.aspx

Penne with Chicken Marengo!

Oddly enough, citrus goes well with chicken and pasta, I discovered tonight. I was pleasantly surprised by this dish from Women’s Health, which pulled me out of my old way of thinking oranges and chicken should be reserved as a glaze for Cornish hens or that age-old guilty Chinese restaurant pleasure, orange chicken (oh how I love those deep-fried and battered nuggets of sin).

Day 2 of Women’s Health’s “Best Workout/Meals for Your Body Type” (I’m a “pear”, if anyone is curious to know…lots of junk-in-the-trunk and proud of it) proved to be a tasty one. See my post from yesterday for dinner from my first day on this diet. “Diet” is such a dirty word… But this magazine has proved to be not only manageable but very delicious and filling, so I’m encouraging you to give these recipes a try and improve your health while possibly shocking your unsuspecting tastebuds into culinary bliss with these good-for-you meals that will give you energy, help you shed pounds, and ultimately help you look at food not only as a luxurious experience but also as the essential fuel it was meant to be!

Here is the recipe….my only changes were using a few spoonfuls of canned, diced tomatoes in lieu of the sun-dried tomatoes and Mrs. Dash seasoning in place of the thyme—Enjoy!

http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/penne-with-chicken-marengo.aspx

Apple-cot & Honey Oatmeal!

This breakfast is packed with whole grains, natural sweetness and leaves you feeling very satisfied!

Simply boil 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Stir in 1 pinch of salt, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/4 c chopped dried apricots, 1/4 c chopped fresh apples, and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/8 t vanilla extract, 1 T honey, a dash of cinnamon, and enjoy!

Apple-cot & Honey Oatmeal!

This breakfast is packed with whole grains, natural sweetness and leaves you feeling very satisfied!

Simply boil 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Stir in 1 pinch of salt, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/4 c chopped dried apricots, 1/4 c chopped fresh apples, and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/8 t vanilla extract, 1 T honey, a dash of cinnamon, and enjoy!

Mashed Cauliflower!

Lower in carbs and high in nutrients, these are an awesome substitute for mashed potatoes. You can use a hand masher, but I recommend using a food processor for a smoother, creamier texture.

Mashed Cauliflower for 3-4:

1 medium head cauliflower
1-2 T olive oil or butter
Salt, pepper, garlic, fresh/dried herbs and/or shredded cheese to taste

Cut cauliflower into small florets, place in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring water to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to a high simmer for 10 min or until fork tender.

Drain, reserving some liquid if you want to use it to thin out the mash a little. Mash or blend with remaining ingredients. Add cream, milk, or reserved water until desired consistency.

Enjoy!

Mashed Cauliflower!

Lower in carbs and high in nutrients, these are an awesome substitute for mashed potatoes. You can use a hand masher, but I recommend using a food processor for a smoother, creamier texture.

Mashed Cauliflower for 3-4:

1 medium head cauliflower
1-2 T olive oil or butter
Salt, pepper, garlic, fresh/dried herbs and/or shredded cheese to taste

Cut cauliflower into small florets, place in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring water to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to a high simmer for 10 min or until fork tender.

Drain, reserving some liquid if you want to use it to thin out the mash a little. Mash or blend with remaining ingredients. Add cream, milk, or reserved water until desired consistency.

Enjoy!

Our green pepper plant is finally paying off! :)

Our green pepper plant is finally paying off! :)

Tropical Shrimp Wraps & Tomacornocado Salad!

A/C still isn’t working. Still on a heat-source cooking strike because of it. Plus, shrimp and various produce was on sale so I felt compelled to take advantage of it :)

Fresh, refreshing, and downright healthy, this can be used for lunch or dinner, or whenever you want something that doesn’t require tackling any kitchen equipment that emits heat or flames (perfect for hot summers or when your apartment is a sauna, like me right now). Enjoy!

Wraps (serves 2):
2 large tortilla wraps (I used a cheddar jalapeño kind)
2 c coarsely chopped, cooked shrimp (peeled, deveined, tail off)
2 cups fresh spinach
1 ripe mango, diced

Sauce:
1/3 c plain yogurt
1/3 c mayo or miracle whip
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 T lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk or use food processor/blender all sauce ingredients, spread evenly over each tortilla (only a few tablespoons—you will have more sauce left over for future use…like a dressing for salad or topping for quesadillas!).

Layer remaining ingredients on tortilla, wrap up, and enjoy!

Salad:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/corn-avocado-and-tomato-salad-recipe/index.html

Thanks to Paula Deen and Food Network for this tasty corn-avocado-tomato recipe! I used 4 ears of raw, fresh cut corn off the cob for this one.

Tropical Shrimp Wraps & Tomacornocado Salad!

A/C still isn’t working. Still on a heat-source cooking strike because of it. Plus, shrimp and various produce was on sale so I felt compelled to take advantage of it :)

Fresh, refreshing, and downright healthy, this can be used for lunch or dinner, or whenever you want something that doesn’t require tackling any kitchen equipment that emits heat or flames (perfect for hot summers or when your apartment is a sauna, like me right now). Enjoy!

Wraps (serves 2):
2 large tortilla wraps (I used a cheddar jalapeño kind)
2 c coarsely chopped, cooked shrimp (peeled, deveined, tail off)
2 cups fresh spinach
1 ripe mango, diced

Sauce:
1/3 c plain yogurt
1/3 c mayo or miracle whip
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 T lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk or use food processor/blender all sauce ingredients, spread evenly over each tortilla (only a few tablespoons—you will have more sauce left over for future use…like a dressing for salad or topping for quesadillas!).

Layer remaining ingredients on tortilla, wrap up, and enjoy!

Salad:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/corn-avocado-and-tomato-salad-recipe/index.html

Thanks to Paula Deen and Food Network for this tasty corn-avocado-tomato recipe! I used 4 ears of raw, fresh cut corn off the cob for this one.