Poached Vegetables with Lemon Caper Sauce

Poached Vegetables with Lemon Caper Sauce

I just love turning through the pages of a new or favorited cookbook. It just lights me up! I start dreaming up all the different flavors I want to combine... all the dishes I want to recreate with my own flare. Last year my best friend Alex gave me one of my favorite cookbooks: Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Ottolenghi has 3 eyeball-seducing, saliva-enducing, cookbooks: Plenty, Ottolenghi, and Jerusulem. Each one has gorgeous full page recipe photos, unique thought-provoking flavor combinations and informative food facts like jersulam articokes are also called sunchokes and are similar to potatoes when you cook them.

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Crispy Oven Roasted Broccoli (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Crispy Oven Roasted Broccoli (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

You know how you get those cravings? Like you just HAVE TO HAVE something _______ (insert: sweet, salty, creamy, etc.) or you just might die? Well I had one of those must-have cravings recently and thank god I found this amazing recipe for crispy roasted broccoli. Think crunchy and salty meets broccoli and tastes like sinful broccoli Parmesan. This dish was so delicious that I almost ate the entire pan in one sitting. It is incredibly satisfying and sooo tasty-- honestly it is my favorite way I've ever had broccoli. Give it a try, you'll thank me.

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Simple Roasted Chicken 3 Ways: A Busy Life Staple

Simple Roasted Chicken 3 Ways: A Busy Life Staple

And it is February! I hope that the beginning of everyone's 2014 has been awesome. For those who made New Years Resolutions, this is now the most challenging time. You may have noticed your motivation slip after January 20th.. 20 days is typically how long people can hold short term motivation. Which is a SHAME because research shows it takes approximately 30 days to form a habit... New Years Resolutions or not, we all want to eat healthier and look better. Most of us make the resolution everyday, which I think is awesome.  As you may know, I manage a gym and teach fitness classes. I hear people talk about these goals on the regular. And I hear a lot of complaints "Mandy it is just so hard/expensive/boring to eat healthy." I think that couldn't be further from the truth. And here's why..

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Smoked Paprika and Chimichurri Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Smoked Paprika and Chimichurri Sauce

Even though there is still no snow on the ground where I live, I know that winter is right around the corner. Meaning that the upcoming weeks mark my favorite time to cook  hearty, warm, satisfying dishes.  One of which is soup. So.... I to bring on the heat, I decided to spice things up (literally) and put a spin on my favorite: Red Pepper and Tomato.

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Arugula & Pomegranate Salad with Champagne Vinegarette & Parmesan Crisps

Arugula & Pomegranate Salad with Champagne Vinegarette & Parmesan Crisps

The inspiration for this salad started with the pomegranates- they're incredibly tasty but are something I rarely buy. Mainly because I HAVE NO IDEA how to de-seed them. Every time I try, I squirt juice into my face and get mouthfuls of the bitter white stuff inside (YUCK). So the last time I was in the grocery store, I intentionally put one in my cart and said, "By golly I'm going to conquer this Pomegranate." With a little research, I discovered there is a way to tastefully de-seed a Pomegranate (god bless Youtube).

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Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice

Chance are, if you live in North America, you've heard of and even eaten the oh-so-popular super grain Quinoa.  This "seed" originates in the Andes of South America and was touted by the Incas as "chisaya mama," or mother grain. Quinoa is gluten free, low glycemic and has the highest protein content of all conventional grains. One cup contains 15% of the recommended daily intake of iron, 21% of the daily intake of fiber, and is an excellent source of magnesium, iron and copper.  Combine this with the fact that Quinoa cooks incredibly fast (approximately 15mins in boiling water) and it's no surprise that Quinoa is moving up the ranks in popularity. 

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Salad Nicoise with Seared Ahi Tuna

Salad Nicoise with Seared Ahi Tuna

I'm a firm believer in two things: 1) that eating healthy can be incredibly delicious 2) pulling culinary inspiration from around the world is the best way to achieve 1).  I love scouring through international recipes or better yet, cooking with friends from other countries. I had the pleasure of being raised in Hawaii by my Canadian mother and French nanny. For this reason, French cooking is particularly close to my heart and for this blog post I've chosen Salad Nicoise with Seared Ahi Tuna.

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Pad Thai- Raw!

Pad Thai- Raw!

Raw? "What on earth does that mean?" You may ask.  I was first made aware of raw foodists when I myself was vegan. It is exactly what it sounds, a raw food diet consists of raw, uncooked, unprocessed foods. I will first tell you the reasoning behind it and then show you that eating raw doesn't mean eating salad with no dressing day in, day out. The coolest thing about this recipe? Its use of kelp noodles.. I had never even heard of them before. They do not need cooking and are very low in calories.

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Thai Pumpkin Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Thai Pumpkin Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Nothing warms the heart and body like a good curry. Curries come in all shapes and sizes: from a Japanese curry made with stock and wheat flour to Indian dal whose beans act at thickeners. "Curry" is a blanket term for a saucy or stew like dish that is rich in ground spices and herbs. Most curries slow cook so the ingredients (typically vegetables and meat) have time to absorb the flavors and spices.

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Steamed Mussels Linguine a la White Wine Sauce

Steamed Mussels Linguine a la White Wine Sauce

Like most people, I love seafood but am less than confident cooking it at home. However, I've come to learn that the only way to gain this kind of confidence is by diving in head first--even if it means failing a couple of times. Fortunately for me, I have recently moved in with my younger brother who just finished culinary school so we took on this project together.

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The Only Barbeque Chicken Pizza

The Only Barbeque Chicken Pizza

I made this pizza a couple months ago and have been craving it ever since. It is honestly the best pizza I've ever had (and it can be made gluten free & paleo). I'm posting it because it is a recipe that can (and should!) be made with BBQ'd ingredients. Since it is barbeque season what could be better than combing grilled delights with earth fired goodness?

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