Light Monday Night Dinner

Light Monday Night Dinner

Another easy-peasy recipe. I always like to pound out my organic chicken breast before I put it on the grill – I think it cooks faster and more evenly that way. I don’t have a meat-pounder-thingy so I just use a heavy sauce pan and it works like a charm. Olive oil, salt, pepper and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute and that’s it on the chicken. For the salad, it was a simple mix of spinach, arugula, shaved carrot, cucumber, and peas. The salad was dressed simply with olive oil, sesame oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Simple, light and delicious.

Organic tomato bruschetta

Organic tomato bruschetta

This was an appetizer for Monday night’s dinner. I had some sourdough baguette left over and needed to do something with it. While I was making grilled chicken and salad, we munched on this. It doesn’t get much easier than this organic tomato bruschetta (pronounced broo – sket – ta). Chopped up organic tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Put it on sliced bread that I lightly toasted in my skillet with some olive oil. De-LISH!

Clean-out-the-fridge Scrambled Eggs

Clean-out-the-fridge Scrambled Eggs

This was our delicious Sunday morning breakfast last Sunday. I cleaned out the fridge and chopped up all my leftover veggies – spinach, mushrooms, onions, hatch chilis, green onions, and cilantro. On the side are delicious flour tortillas from a Tucson tortilleria (tortilla store), Estrella bakery. This meal easily held us over to dinner and curbed my impulse to buy everything at the grocery store.

I’m back!

It was a long week last week but ended on a high note of my official acceptance letter to an MSW program. I celebrated by having wine and pizza with my friends. I really enjoyed showing my friend Monica how to make pizza dough and bake a pizza from scratch. It was her first time and when she ate her creation said, “I am never buying a ready made pizza again! This is delicious and was so easy to make!” It was the best compliment ever. I think if I had a choice and money was not an issue, cooking and blogging would be what I would do all day every day. I would do cooking classes out of my house and have dinner parties every week. Unfortunately, money is an issue and so I chose the wonderful world of social work for a career. Thank goodness for blogging so I can share my love for food with whoever wants to receive it. 

I am catching up big time on all my food adventures from the last week. I have some really great photos to share and some yummy food to show you. Love, me.

T-G-I-F !!!


After a long hard week, this is just what I needed… Friday night cocktails at home. This little concoction is my own recipe and that’s Tajin on the rim. Don’t know about Tajin? Its this  great salty, spicy, sweet, tangy powder that many of us Mexicans down here in Tucson put on fruit, jicama, candy and just about whatever we want. It is absolutely delicious on the rim of my citrus margarita here instead of salt. I used my favorite tequila for this one, Milagro and fresh orange and lemon juice. It’s refreshing and has a great kick that mellows me right out.

Today was the last day of the quarter for me at work and I was pushing hard and long today to get everything in on time. When I was done and realized that I had accomplished just what I set out to do, emptied out my inbox, and left the day with an organized desk, I knew I had to show myself some love for the hard work. This one hit the spot.

Moral of the story: celebrate even the littlest victories of your day. You might be the only one who recognizes them, so guess what? that means you are in charge of celebrating them. Show yourself some love today and do something that you really enjoy. For me, tonight, that is making a delicious cocktail at home and curling up with my hubby, kids, and the dogs. What do you really enjoy?

Quick Tuesday night dinner


Last night I was especially tired. I had gone on a long run yesterday morning and a ended up staying late at work. By the time I got home, I was hungry and wanted something quick to eat. Good thing that while I was out in the field for my job, I went passed one of the best Mexican bakeries in Tucson, Estrella bakery. This place has the best tortillas! They are so authentic and delicious. If you are ever in Tucson, you must go to this little, humble bakery. 

Armed with delicious tortillas and a can of vegetarian refried beans in the pantry, all I needed to make was some delicious rice for an amazing bean burrito. I am kind of on a saffron kick right now, so I decided to make yellow rice. I used Arborio rice because the brown rice I had in my pantry was just not going to work for this. Arborio rice is usually for risotto but cook it like regular rice and it is still has a nice tender texture without the creaminess.



I started out with some oil in my pan and sauteed garlic, white onion and the rice until the rice was slightly toasted. Meanwhile, I steeped some saffron threads in salted water. Once the rice was toasty, I poured in the saffron water, brought it all to a boil, then covered the pan, and cooked like regular white rice. Yum! It came out sooooo good and it only took about 15 minutes.

I cut a tortilla in half then spread the refried beans, put on the rice, added some chopped cilantro, green onions, and fresh tomato – done! Delicious weeknight dinner perfect for taking in front of the TV to eat while I watch New Girl. 

I went ahead and made a burrito on a full tortilla with the same ingredients so I can have it ready for my lunch today. I am going to take some salsa in an empty baby food jar and I’m sure I’ll be the envy of the office. I skipped my morning run today for an extra half hour of sleep but will show my body some love later with an hour of yoga. Happy Wednesday!

Taste the rainbow!

Taste the rainbow!

Who needs Skittles when you can have Moroccan quinoa with butternut squash (from the farmers market), chickpeas, and saffron?

So good, so filling, and guess what? It’s vegan!

Vegan Breakfast To-Go

Whether you are a breakfast-eater or not, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. I always try to eat something in the morning in addition to my coffee whether it is a slice of bread (bread not toast because toasting takes too much time on some hectic mornings), grabbing an apple and the whole jar of almond butter, or simply a few bites of cold left overs.

This morning, as many Monday mornings are, was hectic and rushed. I slept in a little later than I wanted to but I knew I still wanted the start the day of and the week off right witha nourishing, healthy breakfast. Cue: oatmeal made in the microwave. I used half a cup of whole oats and put them in a pretty big bowl with half a cup of hemp milk and half a cup of water. I cooked the oatmeal in the microwave for 2 minutes, swirled the bowl then added another minute. I then dumped the oatmeal into a plastic container (wish I had glass) and topped with chia seeds, dried goji berries, dried cranberries, chopped raw almonds, and a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Breakfast done in about 4 minutes – done! It would have taken more time in the McDonalds drive-thru to pick up a cup of their crappy oatmeal (did you know there ‘cream’ alone has 11 ingredients? – crazy!) and mine is much better.

Don’t know about Chia seeds? Well, they serve a much greater purpose than to make grass covered ceramic pets (remember ‘Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!’ ?). These little guys are packed with solubable fiber, protein, antioxidants, and the richest known plant source for omega-3’s. Sprinkle them on oatmeal and salads or add them to your next batch of granola. I used to buy them in bulk from Sprouts but now even Trader Joes is selling them (LOVE Trader Joes).

What about Goji berries? Also knows as the wolf berry, the goji berry has been used for thousands of years in China, Tibet, and India. They are full of antioxidants and have been linked to dozens of health benefits. Watch out though if you are on blood thinners, they have been said to interact with those medications. I buy them in the bulk section of Sprouts and I only get a handful that lasts me quite a while.

I ate my delicious, wholesome, and vegan oatmeal at my desk this morning but felt good that I was showing my body some love by making a point to eat breakfast. There is something about eating whole grains in the morning that make me feel really happy. Cheers to Monday! It is going to be a good week.

French toast – how I did it

 I started out with a pretty fresh loaf of french bread (if I had access to an amazing brioche, I would have loved to use that instead) and sliced it. I know that french toast is better with day old bread so to simulated that. I baked them at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes not letting them brown at all.

Next, I put 1 cup of hemp milk and 3 whole eggs in a glass pie dish and whisked away.

And the secret ingredient is…. RUM! Well, actually it’s not that much of a secret. The recipe called for vanilla or rum. I used what I had in my little stash. The hemp milk actually turned out great! It think it added just a faint touch of texture that helped to create a really nice crust. Again, organic eggs are must! Oh yeah… and a dash of cinnamon.

I put the sliced bread (once it cooled -because remember I baked them for bit) in the batter and let them soak up the batter on both sides. By the time I was ready to cook them there was not much batter left in the dish because the bread soaked it all up.

Finally in a well buttered non-stick skillet heated to a little hotter than medium heat, I browned the toast on both sides (not sure how many minutes exactly but I would say about 2-4 minutes on each side). That was it! Why haven’t I been making french toast all this time? It is super easy and super delicious.

First time making french toast – success!

my first time
I LOVE french toast and usually order a side of it when I eat out for breakfast but have never actually made it. Well this special Saturday morning brunch changed that. I used a recipe from The Joy of Cooking and used hemp milk instead of regular milk. I also added Captain Morgan Spiced Rum instead of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon. They came out great! I am so proud of myself!
One thing I learned in the process is that it is really important to have a really well buttered skillet for that nice crispy french toasty crust and delectable custardy center. Served with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar and a gentle snowing of powdered sugar. For french toast this good, use REAL maple syrup. It’s a little more expensive but sooooo worth it.