January 30, 2014

Mongolian Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

Mongolian Beef (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)
As you may have noticed from many of the recipes I post, I’m a big fan of meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
Many of you tell me that you’re so busy, you just don’t have the time to cook. This often results in lots of deliveries, takeouts, drive-thrus and less than optimal food choices.
I totally get it. On some nights, even I don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
After a long day at work (and a stop at the gym), sitting on the couch watching TV, or surfing the Net can sound A LOT more appealing than start chopping, sauteing, etc.
But since preparing your own food is key to get (and stay) healthy; it’s important to have some quick and easy recipes to rely on when you’re in a hurry (or too lazy), but still want to make yourself something delicious.
Which brings me to this Mongolian beef.

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January 29, 2014

Minty-Chia Green Smoothie

Minty-Chia Green Smoothie
It’s no secret that I’m a smoothie aficionado.
There’s something about sipping liquid food that just does it for me.
Not that I disdain chewing.
To the contrary, I for one think that jaw activity is totally underrated.
Chewing thoroughly pre-digests food, helps you eat less, and - more importantly - makes you really savor all the flavors your food has to offer.
Chew-chew-chew, for it’s the thing to do!” the crowd screams.
There are times however when contracting the jaw muscles feels like a chore.
Say you go for a 13.1-mile run, come home starving, barely make it to shower, stomach seized up; munching is not an option.
That’s when food in liquid form (aka smoothie) saves the day.
The blender will “gnaw” the food for you and ease the burden on your mouth and digestive system.
All you’re left to do is “Sip-sip-sip!

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January 26, 2014

Roasted Garlic Thyme Butter Hasselback Potatoes

Roasted Garlic Thyme Butter Hasselback Potatoes
There are many things we have thanks to Sweden.
Pippi Longstocking, IKEA, H&M, Absolut Vodka, Vikings, blondes, ABBA, and Smörgåsbords, among others.
One of the lesser known are Hasselback potatoes.
These delectable thinly sliced baked potatoes - soft on the inside and super crispy on the outside - originate from the fancy Hasselbacken hotel & restaurant in Stockholm.
Just when you thought that Swedish cuisine was limited to the cafe at IKEA, followed by a jaunt round the food store before leaving the hangar sized shop...BAM! Hasselback potatoes.

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January 24, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower, Tomato and Goat Cheese Casserole

Roasted Cauliflower, Tomato and Goat Cheese Casserole
A lot of people say they don’t like cauliflower.
These people have no idea what they're missing out on.
In most cases, they don’t like it because they’ve only had cauliflower that has been steamed to death.
Too much steaming turns cauliflower into mushy hot mess and makes the kitchen smell like a stink bomb detonated.
Steamed cauliflower can be so bad, it’s often covered up with a ton of cheese or slathered in white sauce and then baked into submission; a complete disaster.

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January 23, 2014

Radicchio Pesto

Radicchio Pesto
First things first, let’s do the name thing.
It’s radicchio as in Rick, not rich. The ‘CH’ is pronounced ‘CK’ (as the famous cologne); so ra-dee-ckyoh.
Radicchio is one of those foods I think of as very grown up.
It has moustaches, monocles and wanders around the apartment in a regimental dressing gown, with the New Yorker tucked under his arm, smoking a pipe and sipping bourbon.  
Radicchio is upscale and sophisticated and looks down with contempt at the dull plebeian lettuce murmuring “We are not cut from the same cloth!
In a way, snobbish radicchio has the right to say so because it is not, strictly speaking, a variety of lettuce.  
It’s a member of the chicory family that comes in several varieties, with two types being most widely available in the United States: Treviso and Chioggia. Treviso leaves are oblong with pointed ends and grow in small, tightly packed heads. Chioggia instead grown in loosely packed round heads similar in shape to lettuce. Both varieties have purple leaves with white ribs.

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January 21, 2014

15-Minute Chinese Orange Chicken

15-Minute Chinese Orange Chicken
Do you guys like challenges?
I’m such a sucker for challenges.
There really is something about challenges that turns my crank - and I know I’m not alone.
Sure, sometimes they won’t make any sense and be the most idiotic thing on the planet. 
Such as the “melon crash helmet”.
You don't know what that is? Okay so, in the “melon crash helmet” you get a large melon. You cut it and carve it out to make a satisfactory crash helmet shape. Put it on and test it out, by having your friends throwing heavy things at/onto your head.
How cool is that? 
Just kidding. I know it’s stupid, but so entertaining; really, endless hours of fun (try it and see for yourself!) 

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January 20, 2014

Chocolate Krantz Rolls

Chocolate Krantz Rolls
*Warning friends, this is an indulgence recipe. Eat in moderation and enjoy!*

This past weekend I was in the mountains with my very good friend Louise and her husband.
Louise and I have known each other since we were born — our fathers were in high-school together.
We have shared many adventures including but not limited to: Going to ski school wearing our older sibling's worn-out ski equipment and freezing to death; long and epic games of Scrabble and Risk; going to summer camps and doing all kinds of crazy/dumb things; singing karaoke in a crowded bar not caring what the other 200 patrons thought. 
That kind of friendship.
I count it a blessing to have a friend like her in my life; so you can imagine how stoked I was when - just a couple of weeks ago - she announced me that she was expecting her first baby.
Lou pregnant, I still can’t believe it.
I’ve been told a pregnant woman needs pampering. Mostly from her hubby - of course - but even friends can pitch in and share the extra chores.
She needs to eat and rest well, and feel loved at all times.
To show her how much I care, I spent the weekend cooking up a storm. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. I was on fire in the kitchen.
We went out for good brisk walks in the snow, played board games and ate good food.
Quality time with friends, is there anything better?

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January 17, 2014

Buffalo Quinoa Bites

Buffalo Quinoa Bites
Are you guys pumped as I am for the NFC and AFC championships this weekend?
I'm rooting for the Broncos this season since Giants didn't make it to the playoffs.
I adore Peyton too...so...GO BRONCOS!
Plus my beloved cousin Cristina is a die-hard Patriots fan (because she’s from Boston...I know, nobody’s perfect) and I think a little rivalry in the family makes it a little more fun.
[And for all of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, this is American football talk.]
So far the playoff games have been close and exciting, I’m sure this weekend Conference Finals will deliver.
Okay, enough about football for now, let’s talk about football food.

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January 15, 2014

Tuna Melt Omelets

Tuna Melt Omelets

Guys this recipe is huge.
Yup, huge.
Wait, huge not as in size, but as in good. Insanely good. “Make it every day” good.
And I am not exaggerating.

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January 14, 2014

Yogurt, The Power Snack

Yogurt, The Power Snack
I've been on a yogurt kick since...well, since as far as I can remember. 
Honestly, my love for yogurt is deeper than the ocean and goes back to when I was a toddler (according to my mum at least). 
I can say, without equivocation that yogurt is my favorite snack.
I realize I said the same about other stuff already and that you probably think I'm exaggerating a tad and being melodramatic and that I need to dial-it-down and stop saying "This is the best thing in the world, I could live on this!". 
But yogurt? With yogurt I think you and I are in the same boat (in a good way though).
Because yogurt is delicious, filling, packed with health benefits and has very few calories.
It can be used in a number of different ways: Smoothies, cakes, marinades, sauces, and when you freeze it...do we even need to discuss about frozen yogurt????
Since we (yes, you and I) love it so much, I've done some research and discovered some pretty interesting facts about it. 
Now I love it even more than before, and I'm totally expecting you to do the same. Deal?

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January 13, 2014

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
This is a recipe I go back to again and again, and never get tired of.
I spotted it a couple of years ago when I first found Melissa’s blog “IBreatheImHungry” (through Sonia’s), and since then it one has been on high rotation at my place.
A tried and true recipe, I make so often.
Simple, nutritious, tasty and guarantees a happy and healthy feed. Definitely my kind of recipe.

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January 10, 2014

The Little Beet's Charred Broccoli

The Little Beet's Charred Broccoli
A new eatery recently opened in the beating heart of Midtown NYC, it’s called The Little Beet and it focuses on gluten-free, non-GMO, fast-casual food. It has quickly become a favorite lunch spot for busy professionals, who want to eat healthy and nutritious food.
The fact that it’s located in Midtown, just a few blocks away from tourist-clogged Times Square - or as I like to call it 'Squareway to Hell' - should not hold you back from having lunch there (if you happen to be in NYC, of course!)
It’s a lovely little spot with an eco-friendly decor that includes detailed Compost-Recycling-trash bins and veggie-inspired artwork on the walls.

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January 9, 2014

Easy Chili Con Carne Meatballs

Easy Chili Con Carne Meatballs 
If you would ask me how to describe these meatballs, I would definitely say that this is 100% dude food.
Dude food as in food that basically tastes as good as you want it, no matter what fat, cholesterol or caloric content.
Food more macho [are we still allowed to use the word macho in 2014 btw?] than what your grandmother would have made — unless your grandma was a biker babe, then I’ll take it all back.
So yes, dude food, except that ’round here we never say “no matter what” when referred to the food we eat and - moreover - we do give a damn about carbs, calories, fats, etc.
Which means that this is dude food with a healthy twist.
In other words, food which is both “masculine” as well as health-ish. Comprende?

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January 7, 2014

15-Minute Beef with Thai Peanut Sauce

15-Minute Beef with Thai Peanut Sauce
Let’s say it’s 7pm and you suddenly realize you’re craving Chinese/Thai takeout.
Unfortunately, you’re in the middle of nowhere surrounded by heaps of snow, and the closest Chinese/Thai restaurant is a 15-mile drive away which includes crossing State line.
On top of that you’ve been skiing all day and you’re tired and sore, and the last thing you want to do is hop in the car and go get the food.
That was me a week ago; hankering for Chinese/Thai food but too lazy to actually get it.
Since suppressing my cravings was not an option (it never really is), I fired up the stove and did the best I could with what I had.
That’s how this awesome stir-fry beef with Thai peanut sauce came to life. *High-five*

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January 6, 2014

Key West Spicy Chicken Quesadillas

Key West Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
And it’s a new year.
I hope that your 2014 has started off with a BANG.
Mine has been very chilled and full of ski, delicious food, good reads and no alarm clock. AWESOME. [Today I’m back to reality, but I’ll just pretend it’s still last week for a minute.]
You may not know this, but I really LOVE to ski.
It brings out my crazy, just as much as triathlon does.
I love it notwithstanding getting to and from the slopes can be a real pain. 
When one considers digging out all of the clothes to stay warm, putting them on, hauling all of that awkward equipment around, paying $$$ for a ski pass. 
I still get the biggest rush when I fly down a slope, which negates all of that hassle.
The floating sensation of skiing through powder snow is one of the coolest feeling ever, if you haven’t try it yet I urge you to do it.
On top of that skiing is practiced in some of the most breathtaking places in the world. Few sports in the world have such beautiful environmental contexts (I mean, look at the shots I took for you guys the other day on the chair-lift, risking hypothermia...)

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