Seafood Salad

It’s been over 40 days since I’ve eaten meat. I am incredibly happy that I decided to give up meat for Lent. Not only did it show me that I do have the willpower to majorly change my diet if I want to, but it opened my eyes up to so many different yummy things to eat. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the baked ham my mom was making for Easter, though.

The seafood salad that the supermarket deli sells has always caught my eye, but I’ve never purchased it because I’m not sure that I trust seafood from the deli counter. I scoped out the ingredients and decided to make my own version at home.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Seafood Salad
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  • 1 pound imitation crab, chopped
  • ½ cup sweet onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup dill pickle, chopped
  • ½ cup chives, chopped
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ⅛ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Toss all ingredients together with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and mustard.
  2. Salt and pepper to taste.



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salad was quick and easy to make and I loved it for lunch with some Triscuits. I swapped out most of the mayo for Greek yogurt, but I don’t think the difference in taste is very noticeable thanks to the mustard. I’m usually not a huge fan of celery, but it really worked in this combo and gave the salad a very refreshing taste.

What’s your favorite deli counter salad?

Protein Piña Colada

I don’t know about you, but I am so sick of the chilly temps that seem to keep returning to NYC. Instead of piling on the layers, I want to be laying on the beach, soaking up the sun, piña colada in hand. Since I can’t jet away to some tropical island, I made the next best thing, a protein piña coladas smoothie!

protein pina colada

Protein Piña Colada
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Smoothie
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 5 oz unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop Designer Whey French Vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons Light Coconut Milk
  • 10 Ice Cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flakes (optional)
  1. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Top with optional coconut flakes.


This version is quite a bit better for you than its rum based brethren. The scoop of protein and fresh fruit will keep you full, instead of just ingesting sugar and empty calories like you find in many drink mixers. While this can’t raise the temperature by 40 degrees, or turn your backyard into a white sand beach (I had my fingers crossed) it will make you feel like you’re almost on vacation, and feeling like you’re almost on vacation is better than nothing!

protein pina colada

..and if you want to add some rum, who am I to judge…it’s happy hour somewhere, right? 😉

What’s your favorite tropical drink?

Tofu Peanut Noodles

Since going veggie, I have tried cooking with a bunch of new things, tofu being

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one of them. I’ve eaten tofu on tons of occasions, but I’ve never worked with it myself, and quite frankly, it intimidated me. On my last trip to Trader Joe’s I decided to take the plunge and bought a package of tofu, with no real idea of what I was going to do with it. It sat in my fridge for about a week, until I got my Rachael Ray magazine in the mail and I was inspired by a recipe.

tofu peanut noodle

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tofu Peanut Noodles
Prep time
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Total time
Recipe type: vegetarian, vegan
  • 16 ounces firm tofu, cubed
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ pound linguine (I used quinoa pasta)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  1. Bake tofu at 425 degrees on parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine peanut butter, liquid aminos and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
  3. Cook noodles according to instructions on box, adding broccoli 5 minutes before noodles are done.
  4. Drain noodles, toss with sauce and tofu.


I ended up eating these noddles for dinner and as lunch for the next two days. I was sad to see the bottom of the Tupperware, because they were amazing. This is the type of dish you can make and enjoy for days because it reheats great. Happy Eating!

What’s an ingredient that intimidated you until you tried cooking with it?

Black Bean Meatballs

This year for Lent, I have decided to give up meat. I’m going to have another post talking about some decisions that I’ve made regarding my diet, but that’s a story for another day. For the next 40, well about 37 now, I won’t be eating any meat and I will be experimenting with lots of veggies to create meat free recipes.

First up on my to-do list of meatless recipes was to create meatless meatballs. I have been buying the Veggie Patch meatballs for some time now, and I thought that I could totally make my own black bean meatballs. These babies are super simple and have a great flavor with a kick of spice, just the way I like em!


Black Bean Meatballs
Prep time
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Total time
Cuisine: Vegetarian
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Spray oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. After draining and rinsing the black beans, place them into a large bowl.
  3. With a fork or potato masher, mash the beans until they turn into a paste-like consistency.
  4. Add in the remaining ingredients and mash everything together with your hands.
  5. Form into meatballs and place them onto a cookie sheet
  6. Spray with a bit of oil and bake for 20 minutes.

I served these in a pita with some baby spinach and hummus, but I plan on making them again and giving them a try with some spaghetti sauce. I also love them on top of a huge salad. Who am I kidding, I will eat them with anything because they are that good.

black bean meatballs

 Have you ever tried meatless meatballs? What are your fav meatless recipes?

Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tommy has been asking me to make chewy chocolate chip cookies forever, but the cookies that I have made in the past never passed his chewiness test. That is, until Saturday! Let me start off by saying that these cookies are not in any way, shape or form healthy, but they are delicious. In a life of balance, there is always room for a chewy chocolate chip!

Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tommy found the New York Times’ Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe online and asked me to try it. Since I’m not one for sticking to recipes , I made it my own. I mean, who the heck want to refrigerate cookie dough for 24 hours? That would have been gone before it ever made it to the cookie sheet in my house.

Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 3⅓ cups all purose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars, mixing until the mixture is very light, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients and, mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Place tablespoon size balls on a cookie sheet, evenly spaced so the cookies don't bake together.
  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
  9. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before digging in!

chocolate chip cookies

Theses babies even pass the second and third day tests. Chewy goodness all around! You can thank me later. 😉

What’s you favorite kind of cookie? Chewy or crispy?


Paleo Fried Rice

One of the hardest things with following a paleo diet has been the lack of starchy side dishes in meals. Growing up with Polish parents, every meal as a kid had some type of potato, noodle or rice, and those things became comfort foods to me. With paleo, those comfort foods are eliminated, so what better to do than to find some alternatives?


I found the idea for this dish in the Paleo cookbooks, Everyday Paleo, that I got for Christmas, and have made it twice since Christmas. It’s a big winner among everyone in my house, and just based on it’s appearance, my dad thought it was real rice. That might come in handy for tricking picky eaters! (I don’t condone tricking people into eating foods, but with a three year old who doesn’t want to try new foods, it comes in handy sometimes.)

Paleo Fried Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Paleo
Serves: 5
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 3 minced garlic slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Liquid Aminos
  • (You need a food processor to make this recipe)
  1. Rinse cauliflower and cut into florets.
  2. Place the florets into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped, with a texture similar to rice.
  3. Saute chopped cauliflower and garlic in coconut oil in a large skillet for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in scallions and Liquid Aminos and saute for another 5 minutes.
  5. Push mixture to the side of the pan and crack eggs into the free space in the pan.
  6. Quickly combine the egg and cauliflower mixture and mix until well incorporated.


This recipe comes together much quicker than traditional fried rice. You can also process a whole bunch of cauliflower at one time and freeze it in batches to make the rice at a later time without the most time consuming part

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of the recipe.

paleo fried rice

Hope you enjoy it!

What’s your favorite paleo (or non-paleo) side dish?

Oatmeal Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, but some mornings I am not conscious enough to make myself something yummy and nutritious to start my day off right. Luckily, I am a creature of habit and can eat the same breakfast for days, even weeks, without getting sick of it. Last week, I enjoyed this Oatmeal Quinoa Breakfast Bake from Monday through Friday, and when it was all gone, I still wanted more. I just couldn’t get enough!

Oatmeal Quinoa
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Breakfast Bake
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease your pan.
  2. Mix together oats, quinoa, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. Pour melted coconut oil over the dry ingredient mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl lightly beat egg and add in milk and vanilla.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and fold in berries.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and drizzle of maple syrup (for extra deliciousness)

I kept it covered in the fridge all week and just popped it into the microwave for a minute to reheat in the mornings. Easiest breakfast ever!

And if you need some more quinoa action, head over to Wish & Whimsy where I am guest posting today with more quinoa action!

What’s your favorite quick breakfast?

Quinoa Pizza Bake

I have been craving pizza like nuts lately. It might have something to do with the fact that we ate pizza like three times during hurricane week and my body is in withdrawals. Even though I live just down the block from the best pizzeria in NYC, and maybe the world, I am trying to stay away. There’s actually a new nickname for the weight people have gained by being stuck indoors during the hurricane – “The Sandy 5.” And mine definitely came from pizza.

While wracking my brain for pizza-esque things that weren’t a carb overload, I remembered this yummy recipe that I shared in a guest post this summer over at Eat Pray Tri – Quinoa Pizza Bake. This is comfort food at its finest – cheesy, tomatoey, but packed with protein and will not put you into the dreaded carb coma.

Quinoa Pizza Bake
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 5 fresh basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine quinoa and vegetable stock in a small pot over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a skillet, brown the onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, garlic, onions, water and olive oil, and mix well.
  6. Add in oregano and basil and mix before adding the mixture to the quinoa.
  7. Add in half the mozzarella cheese to the quinoa and mix. Once all the ingredients are combined, taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.
  8. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.

Next time a pizza craving strikes, turn to your good friend quinoa. You won’t regret it!

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

I think this is the longest I’ve even been away from my blog since I started a year and a half ago. Even though I was off from school and work and basically had all the time in the world to cook, bake, workout and blog, none of that seemed right. Now that I’m going back to school and work tomorrow, it’s time to return to normalcy on the blog front too. That being said, if you haven’t yet, check out my last post on how to donate to the relief efforts. Every little bit helps.

After many Facebook convos back and forth regarding whether it was right to go trick or treating, we decided it was a go. I had been hyping up Halloween for Alex for almost a month and I knew that he deserved to have fun and get some candy in the process. But before we set out to get sugar high, we ate a good breakfast – Blender Pumpkin Oat Pancakes. Pancakes are a breakfast that we love, so I always try to starts off exciting days with pancakes. Check out last year’s Halloween pancakes.

I had originally wanted to make Banana Oatmeal Pancakes that I saw in Fitness magazines, but after blending together my milk and oats I realized that we were out of bananas and pumpkin came to the rescue.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes
  • 1½-C Skim Milk
  • 1 C Rolled Oats
  • ¾ C Pumpkin Puree
  • ½-C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 T + 1 t Baking Powder
  1. In a blender, puree milk and oats until smooth.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, flour, and baking powder and puree a few seconds more.
  3. Let batter rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Mist with nonstick cooking spray, then scoop batter into pan in ¼-Cup increments.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low and cook pancakes until air bubbles appear and underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Flip and cook about 5 minutes more.

Later on that evening, we set out for trick or treating.

And at the end of the evening Buzz Lightyear was so tired that he couldn’t fly home…he had to be carried.

Do you have any special holiday breakfasts?

Zucchini Cacao Nib Bread

Last week I posted this beauty on Instagram and promised a recipe…

I took my regular zucchini bread recipe (one of the first things I ever posted on this blog!) and tweaked it a bit to get…Zucchini Cacao Nib Bread. This was moist with the perfect balance of sweetness without being overpowering, thanks to the cacao nibs. Even though they were the Sweet Cacao Nibs, they tasted more like dark chocolate than sweet, and brought a new dimension of flavor to my usual recipe.

Zucchini Cacao Nib Bread

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup Nativas Naturals Sweet Cacao Nibs


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until combined. Fold in Cacao Nibs. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Spoon into lightly greased loaf pans (I sprayed mine with cooking spray) and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Try not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting…it’s not as easy as it looks! 😉

Before I forget to mention, the Cacao Nibs were sent to me by the amazing people of Nativas Naturals, who also sent me Freeze-dried Wheatgrass Powder, which I’ve been using in my smoothies, but more on that later!

This company has an amazing variety of superfoods – chia, goji berry, cacao, hemp, etc and are dedicating to organic agriculture with sustainable, socially responsible relationships with farmers. Win-win if you ask me!!