June 22, 2012

Summer Florals

{Floral Jumpsuit ~ Forever 21+ / Hot Pink Silk Blazer ~ Thrifted / Black Sandals ~ Target / Black and Ivory Striped Tote ~ J Crew / Vintage Sunnies}

I won't talk about the heat; it's summer so we all know it's hot.  I won't happily exclaim that it is FRIDAY; we all know how much I adore Fridays.  I'll simply share this outfit that I wore this week on a steamy 90+ degree day all while smiling and anxiously awaiting Friday and the weekend. :)

I hope you are enjoying the warmth and have something fun planned this weekend! We will be swimming and grilling, you know - usual summer fun-ness. LOL!

xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

June 20, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower

I am on a serious clean eating kick {whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies, quality protein and very minimal sugar, alcohol and snacks} and I have to tell you - I feel fantastic! It has only been a week and I have so much more energy.  I feel "lighter on my feet" and I am loving it.  Preparing clean meals has been fun for all of us, we are rediscovering our favorite fruits and veggies - it's quite refreshing.

Even before "eating clean", we enjoyed this simple dish.  ...if you can even call it a dish.  It's so simple, yet delicious!  This works great as a side dish... or a snack! I could eat an entire head of this cauliflower by myself.

{First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and start with a fresh head of cauliflower.  It's normally by the cabbage and greens. Until this recipe, it was a forgotten veggie for us - now we love it!  You will also need some good extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt.}

{Core your cauliflower, using a sharp knife}
{Remove your cauliflower florets, cutting them into bite sized pieces.  Not too small though, they shrink quite a bit while roasting.}

{Add them to a large mixing bowl, pour in about 1/4 cup of oil and add a good pinch of salt.}

{Toss well to evenly coat them and spread on a baking pan.}

{Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing them often to get them evenly browned.}

 {Once they are evenly browned, serve and ENJOY! So nutty, sweet-yet-savory and delicious!}

Roasting veggies is the best way to prepare them, in my opinion.  They come out perfect every single time.

What veggie have you roasted lately?  I will be roasting sweet potatoes for dinner tonight. Can't wait! :)

xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

June 16, 2012

Neon Pink & Cobalt Blue

{Cobalt Blue Crepe Pencil Skirt ~ Thrifted / Neon Pink Chiffon Top ~ Rachel, Rachel Roy / Cobalt Blue Booties ~ ASOS}

Oh, how I love Saturdays.  The weather was absolutely perfect today, I enjoyed being out and about. :)  There was a lot to prepare for our Father's Day celebration tomorrow.  I am so excited to give Cory the royal treatment from the minute he wakes up until he goes to bed.  He deserves EVERYTHING!

I hope you are having a fantastic weekend.  

xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

June 14, 2012

Brown Rice Salad

I know I said I would share this recipe yesterday but when the time came to begin typing it out last night, I was so tired I couldn't even keep my eyes open.  Yesterday was a full {and amazing!} day - with the highlight being Cory's 6th grade graduation. :)

As I was uploading these pictures, I was really amazed at the way this came together.  One good thing about being a "foodie" is you sort of just know what flavors and textures will be great in a dish.  And I got it right with this one, each ingredient compliments each other perfectly.  Even if you are not a fan of brown rice, I assure you, it's so good in this dish.  It was a great change from a normal rice sidedish.  ...or salad, for that matter.  AND, it is in line with my "clean eating" goal for this summer.  I can't wait for you to try this!
6 cups of cooked brown rice {I used Uncle Ben's, I think it's the best!}
1/4 cup of finely chopped green pepper
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove of garlic {I used half a clove, I am not the biggest fan of raw garlic}
1 packet of Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 ripe avocado, diced
Salt and lots of fresh cracked pepper to taste

{Finely chop a green bell pepper {or red} until you have 1/4 cup.}

 {Do the same to a small shallot.  I need to use more shallots, they have a great savory flavor - and tastes like the perfect mix of garlic and onion. so good!}

{Cook your brown rice according to the directions on the box.  Brown rice usually takes longer than white rice, so be careful and be sure to use a kitchen timer for perfect rice every time!}

 {When the rice is almost done, maybe 5 minutes before the water is completely absorbed, add your chopped shallots, stir and replace the cover.  You want the heat from the rice to soften the flavor and texture of the shallots.}

{Once the rice is done, spread it out in an even layer on a cookie sheet or large pan.  Put it in the freezer to quickly cool while your prepare the rest of your ingredients.}

 {Chop your fresh cilantro and parsley really fine. YUM! I LOOOVE cilantro.  If you aren't a fan, it can be omitted.}

{Rinse your can of black beans well and allow them to drain completely.}

{Now here is where you can use your own Italian salad dressing, well any kind, really - but these Good Seasons packets make preparing a dressing at home so easy I refuse to buy bottled salad dressing again. LOL! {UNLESS I am splurging on the Ken's creamy caesar with roasted garlic, soooooo good!}

{You could use any vinegar here too.  I chose good ole apple cider.  Champagne or white wine vinegar would have been good to, but I only had apple cider and balsamic. Lemon or lime juice could replace the vinegar too if that's all you had.  Lime would actually be great - lime + cilantro = perfect match.}

{In the bottom of a bowl, add your Dijon mustard.}

{Dump in your Italian seasoning packet.}

{Add your vinegar, oil, honey and crushed/grated garlic clove.}

{Sprinkle or grind in your fresh cracked pepper.  I used a pepper blend and plenty of it!}

{Whisk your dressing really well.  The Dijon mustard helps to emulsify it making it nice and thick.}

{By now, your rice should have cooled off.  Dump it into a large mixing bowl and begin to add your other ingredients.  Your fresh herbs...}

{...your rinsed black beans and chopped bell pepper.}

{Pour on a bit of your dressing and mix it well.  Whenever you are dressing a salad, make sure to add a little bit of dressing at a time... the last thing you want is sogginess. Start small and work your way up. :)} 

{After mixing your salad, slice and add your grape tomatoes.  They were the perfect sweet addition that this salad needed.}

{Next, halve and dice your avocado.  This is a mandatory ingredient, if you ask me.  The creaminess was just AMAZING with the sweet tomatoes and the tang of the dressing.}

{More black pepper for me and a pinch of salt was added here.}

{Mix well and serve!}

{We had this with the pan roasted tilapia on Tuesday, 'twas a perfect meal! Imagine this with a nice seasoned up piece of grilled chicken.}

I can't wait to create and share more clean eating recipes. :) You guys are the best with comments, emails and tweets about my recipes! I am sooooo happy that you are enjoying them!

xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

June 12, 2012

Pan Roasted Tilapia

After realizing that I have not been eating as healthy as I should be, I have decided to cut the processed crap and do more "clean eating".  I have been having way too much fun eating whatever I feel like having and at my age, it just doesn't work like that.  Those sweets had me feeling sluggish, not drinking enough water had me feeling puffy and bloated and over-loading on junk had me feeling just plain awful.  This summer, I will be preparing healthy and flavorful meals containing whole grains, fresh protein and colorful vegetables for us to enjoy.  As a family.  I'm excited!

I have been making this tilapia dish for a few years now and it's a never-fail, always good recipe.  You could use any fish with this, I love the mild taste of tilapia and it is strong enough in texture to hold up to the cooking without falling apart.

Fresh or frozen tilapia filets, rinsed and patted dry
A combination of your favorite seasonings, I used my stand-bys: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, seasoning salt, fresh cracked pepper and dried parsley.
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced

{First: rinse, dry and lay out your fish to be seasoned.} 

{Preheat a large NON-STICK pan {I prefer a seasoned cast iron pan} over medium heat. While the pan is heating, thinly slice your onion.  Add 2 tablespoons of oil and begin to saute your onions.}

{While the onions are getting started, season your fish really well.  Go easy on the seasoning salt, you don't want SALTY fish.  You want SEASONED fish. I used about a teaspoon of each, generously and evenly sprinkling both sides.}

{Move your onions to one side of the pan and add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil.  Add your fish to the hot pan, the top side first and do not move it.  Let it roast in the pan for about 5-7 minutes.}

{After about 5-7 minutes, flip your fish and let the other side roast.  Let the skin side cook for a minute longer to get a bit crispy. Do not move it while it's cooking, you will remove the seasoning. :)  Stir your onions, making sure they brown on all sides. Remove them when they are done.} 

{This is what your fish will look like when it's done. Perfectly seasoned and oh so moist!}

{After plating, top the fish with your roasted caramelized onions. I served this with the most amazing brown rice salad that you will ever put in your mouth. LOL! I will be posting that recipe tomorrow so stay tuned!}

Are you a tilapia fan? I hope so, you need to try this dish! :)

 xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

June 8, 2012

Fun with Plaid!

{Pleated Plaid Skirt ~ Thrifted / White Scoop Neck Tee ~ Old Navy / Light Denim Jacket ~ H&M / Hot Pink Suede Pumps ~ Nine West}

So much fun was had wearing this skirt!  The length is a little more matronly than I would like so I decided to dress it down a bit with the jean jacket and add a color pop with the pink heels. :)

Any fun plans for the weekend?  I have a movie date with my kiddies to see Madagascar 3 in 3D and a picnic-in-the-park date on Sunday with my best girlfriends and our kids.  Should be a fun weekend all around, I'm excited!

Happy Friday!

xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥