Monthly Archives: January 2014

January Bookshelf

dovekeepers

One of my resolutions for 2014 is to read more books. I have always loved reading but recently, especially last year, found myself reading less and less. A typical weekday consisted of coming home from work, doing some errands around the house, maybe working on my blog or doing some freelance work, cooking dinner and then plopping myself in front of the TV and eventually falling asleep. Towards the end of last year a few coworkers and I were discussing different books we had read and I realized how much I actually missed reading! The last book I read in 2013 was The Happiness Project and I started it in July and didn’t finish it until December! The problem wasn’t that it was a bad book. I actually really enjoyed it and you can read my review here. The problem was I wasn’t making time for reading. Watching TV is a mindless activity that helps me unwind after working a full time job, juggling social events and trying to keep up with errands and housework and I don’t intend to give that up. But reading actually can be very relaxing too. Plus, it’s better for your brain than watching TV for obvious reasons. Continue reading

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turkey chili rice

turkey chili 4

I couldn’t think of what else to call this recipe. It’s sort of a combination of turkey chili and fried rice. Or maybe it’s just a chili recipe that I added rice to. Whatever. It’s not a very creative name but the recipe itself did turn out yummy and it comes together really quick too.

It was a last minute dinner, as many of mine are, and I came up with this recipe as a way for me to clean out my fridge and pantry. I used ingredients I always have on hand like rice, diced tomatoes, black beans, onions, garlic and spices. These kinds of dinners don’t always turn out well but in this case, it did. It’s pretty healthy too. Except I served mine with a generous helping of cheddar cheese and a big handful of crunchy tortilla chips. I wound up eating the “turkey chili rice” like a dip, using the chips as my utensils. So, if you eat it that way it’s not that healthy. It’s pretty good on it’s own too so the chips and cheese are optional. Continue reading

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whole grain pasta shells with sausage, spinach and tomato

pasta 3

Pasta and portion control. Two areas of weakness for me. I’m actually going to try to make pasta less because I just can’t control myself around the stuff. This will be tough because pasta is so easy to make and it’s so versatile. On those busy days and nights it’s the perfect go to for a quick and tasty meal. But in an effort to eat less carbs and work on portion control I’m trying to branch out and make other things for dinner. That’s not to say I’m giving up pasta for good though (duh, I’m not crazy) as evidenced by the title of this blog post.

This particular pasta dish is actually quite filling which helps with the portion control aspect. It still requires some self control because it’s so delicious but the whole grain shells, the lean chicken sausage and the fresh spinach do help to fill you up. The wine adds another layer of flavor to the sauce and a pinch of red pepper gives the dish a kick. They say that spicy food helps make people feel more full. I haven’t found that to be true, but you may want to add more red pepper if you think you can handle the heat! Continue reading

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Asian turkey sloppy joes

turkey 1

Oh my gosh. You guys these turned out so good. I’m so excited to share the recipe with you. To be honest, I don’t cook with ground turkey all that often and I’m not sure why. It’s inexpensive, quick cooking, healthy and a blank canvas which means you can flavor it with almost anything. I was at Trader Joe’s the other day and the ground turkey was on sale so I bought a few packages even though I didn’t really have any specific dish to make in mind. I figured ground turkey was versatile enough I could find something in my pantry that would flavor it well. Continue reading

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Thai chicken and green bean stir fry

thai stir fry 1

As part of my effort to stick to my New Year’s resolution to lose weight, eat more veggies, etc., I was browsing through the Weight Watcher’s website the other day looking through some recipes. I didn’t have any good ideas for dinner that night so I was looking for anything healthy that would spark my interest. I came across a chicken and green bean stir fry. The recipe sounded really good but I decided to change quite a few things. I made it spicier and I also put some crunchy peanuts on the top at the end. This makes it slightly higher calorie but it’s still very healthy. Plus, like most things, peanuts are good for you in moderation. Continue reading

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Fusion appetizers at Michael’s in midtown manhattan

michaels 1

I’ve been in Manhattan a lot lately. It’s been great. I love the city and I like to venture in as often as possible. My brother and his girlfriend, who is from Cambodia, are visiting from Asia for the Holidays and my family wanted to take them into the city to see Rockefeller Center and the famous Christmas tree. I generally avoid midtown because it’s always so packed with tourists but since we were there doing touristy things and it was impossible to take any sort of transportation (I will never take the train into the city the weekend between Christmas and New Years ever again) it seemed easiest to just pick a restaurant near Rockefeller Center for dinner. We settled on <a href="“>Michael’s Restaurant on West 55th Street between 5th and 6th. Continue reading

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Fish tacos with chipotle broccoli slaw

fish tacos

Like thousands of other people in the world, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and eat healthier. These fish tacos are part of that effort. Many studies suggest everyone should try and eat fish twice a week. It’s low in saturated fat and high in protein and eating it regularly offers many health benefits. Fish is also fairly simple to cook. Some of my go to fish purchases include cod, tilapia, and halibut depending on what is on sale and what is fresh that day. I also buy salmon regularly but salmon has a really strong flavor and isn’t as versatile as the other white fish I just named. Cod, tilapia and halibut are blank canvases because they are so mild in flavor. In this recipe I happened to use cod. It’s fairly inexpensive and holds up really well in these tacos. Continue reading

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

dip

There must be a thousand different recipes for buffalo chicken dip. This one is by no means healthy but it’s pretty much the most delicious thing you could eat and it’s incredibly easy.

On Christmas day my sister in law asked me to help her get some of the appetizers ready. She worked on the bruschetta and I worked on the buffalo chicken dip. I also made Ina Garten’s stuffed mushrooms which are to die for, just fyi. This is essentially my sister in law’s recipe for buffalo chicken dip. I may have changed some of the measurements but she is the true mastermind behind this dip. To be honest I was never that thrilled by buffalo chicken dip. I mean it’s good and all but there are definitely other appetizers I’d rather be eating. But for some reason I couldn’t stop eating this one on Christmas day. So, I decided to make it again for New Year’s Eve and just as I suspected, it went over really well. Continue reading

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