Monthly Archives: August 2014

Salads in a Jar


These Salads in a Jar turned out so pretty! To make them special, I made my own honey mustard vinaigrette using raw honey, extra virgin olive oil, Pinot Grigio white wine vinegar, a splash of Pinot Grigio wine, fresh thyme, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. I made salads using two different salad greens, one with baby spinach, the other with baby arugula. Here are the ingredients I used to layer the spinach and arugula salad jars.

For the arugula salad jars, I layered starting from the bottom: Dressing, chickpeas, English cucumbers, radishes, sweet peppers, Mini Marzano tomatoes, red onions, and arugula.

For the spinach salad jars I wanted a sweeter tasting salad with crunch, so I layered starting from the bottom: Dressing, English cucumbers, radishes, sweet peppers, Marzano tomatoes, red onions, Temple grapes, sliced almonds, and spinach.

When choosing what combination of veggies and fruits to use to build your salad, pick ones that will complement the salad greens being used. Arugula is more of a spicy salad green, whereas spinach lends itself to being sweeter. The sky is the limit as to what you could pair together to make a delicious salad. And don’t be afraid to mix in fresh herbs with your greens. Basil and mint are excellent additions.

Salads for a week, complete!

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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


Week 2, Clean Meals: Beef Bourgionne, Homemade Coconut Almond Granola, and Salads in a Jar

Good afternoon on this beautiful Sunday! I’m feeling extra motivated today to kick out a week’s worth of clean yummy meals. We had such great success last week with my family eating/taking meals from home (with my husband shedding a couple of pounds to boot), so I could not wait to get back in the kitchen and do my thing again. As I shared last week, variety is the spice of life, so instead of eating the same dish 5 days straight (how boring!), my meal plan over the week will revolve around 3 meat entrees (beef, chicken, fish), salads, soups, and/or casserole. Our meal plan for this week will be:

Beef Bourgionne, with sides of sautéed green beans and baked sweet potatoes
Parmesan Tilapia, with sides of steamed broccoli and Basmati Rice
Roasted Hot Wings, with sides of celery sticks and blue cheese dip
Salads in a Jar
Homemade Coconut Almond Granola with organic yogurt

I’ll share shortly some tips on how I pulled this meal together, along with salad recipes I use in the jars. Bye for now, as I throw this beef Bourgionne in the oven to braise. It ought to be good, as that chuck is swimming in a whole bottle of red wine and a hint of Marsala. Lol!


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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


Week Meal Plan: Fridge Peek!






Pictured: Roasted asparagus, Broccoli cheese casserole, Tomato Fennel Soup, Roasted Mushroom Bisque, Grilled Ribeye with herb butter, Shrimp scampi, and Grilled chicken (not pictured).

I spent this Sunday doing something I rarely do for my family, preparing meals for the whole week! In our efforts to eat clean, and to support my husband in taking his lunch daily, I decided to prepare enough food for my family to piece together a meal for the whole week. I decided upon 2 sides, 2 soups, 2 salads, and 3 meats. I like to have a beef, chicken, and seafood option. For the grilled steaks and chicken, I grilled some whole and then after it had time to rest, I sliced thin. That way it can be added to salads to make it a complete meal. It also saves money when purchasing red meat as a serving size is only 4 ounces, and I can make it go a long way by slicing it up. I bought a nice chunk of Gorgonzola to add to salads, and fresh berries are always in order to lighten a salad or add to yogurt for breakfast. For me to enjoy eating at home, I must have variety, and it must be something I would order out. That’s what makes eating at home worth it, when you have a meal waiting that you look forward to eating. Although it took the bulk of my evening to complete, I will be rewarded with so much free time on my hand, and a ready answer to that proverbial question, “What’s for dinner?” Check the fridge!

Speaking of checking the fridge, here is a peek at what my fridge looks like all organized. One side of my fridge is strictly reserved for prepared meals, as it makes it easy to grab and go, and also to see what we have left. The top shelf holds soups and fresh fruit, second shelf salads and entrees, and third shelf consists of family size meals. As I am a cook at heart, I will add to this by baking up a couple of goodies like homemade granola, and breakfast type foods. Here’s to one successful night in the kitchen, and a fridge any cook could be proud of!


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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Uncategorized


Clean Eating Week 1

I’ve got a long evening of cooking ahead of me. About to do something I rarely do, and that is cook for the entire week ahead. All in our mission of eating totally clean the next 30 days. Soups, entrees, salads, and breakfast.


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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Uncategorized


Zuppa Toscana Soup

No you are not seeing double. This is my rendition of a copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s famed Zuppa Toscana soup. If you’ve eaten there, I’m sure you’ve had a bowl, or two, or in my case 4! Lol! I would frequent lunch there just to have the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks, though this time I have the pleasure of having this at home. This soup is filled with Italian sausage, onions, garlic, chicken stock, heavy cream, and fresh kale, with a hint of my favorites I add in like Parmesan-Regianno and nutmeg. Mmmm, it get’s no better than that.

I love making homemade soups at home. If you look in my cupboard, you won’t find canned soup there. Ehy, when you can make a fresh batch and freeze it in portion sizes. That’s where you’ll find my soup. On the stove, in the fridge, or in the freezer. Fresh is always best. 🙂


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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Zuppa Toscana copycat recipe

Thought I would share a copycat recipe for soup that I am sure is a favorite by those who have visited Olive Garden, Zuppa Toscana. I tried this recipe years ago, and it is spot on in taste to what you would have there. I prefer the hot Italian sausage, but today I am using mild. This soup is made for dipping breadsticks in, so to keep it gluten-free, I am using a garlic rosemary focaccia I purchased from a local bakery. Add a green salad, and dinner is served!

See you in a few. This delicious soup doesn’t take long to prepare.
Here is the link to the recipe for you to enjoy!

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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


Fruit Mint Tea


I saved the best for last, Fruit Mint Tea. Just fresh brewed Luzianne tea bags, along with Plantation Mint tea. To this, I added pineapple juice, Blanca mango mix, and sweetened the tea with agave. I haven’t even fixed my plate to eat, but I’m sipping on this. I am shamefully a tea addict, born and bred on that sweet southern nectar…Lol!

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Posted by on August 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

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