Saturday, June 23, 2012

Looking for guest bloggers!

As most of you know, I am expecting my first child in the next couple weeks (I'm 37 ish weeks along) and I would love to have a few guest bloggers lined up for once the baby comes.! I would really like for the posts to follow along the same lines as what I post (healthy, minimally processed and easy to make). I'm open to recipes, articles or whatever you might have in mind. If you are interested, please e-mail me at

Love you guys and thank you for your on-going support. 


Strawberries N' Cream Oatmeal

I grew up eating flavored instant oatmeal and one of my favorites was strawberries n cream. Of course I now know how processed those little packets are (not to mention, way to sweet!). So instead of never eating it again, I made my own version of Strawberries n' Cream. Luckily strawberries are now in season, so finding great tasting fresh strawberries is easy and inexpensive. This is a very basic recipe and can be customized according to your liking. I prefer a thick oatmeal, but if you'd like to thin it out some more, just add a little more almond milk. You've got yourself a nice, simple breakfast or even a nice post workout snack.

I didn't sweetened this oatmeal, I didn't think I need any sweetener. If you are more of a sweet tooth, try adding a touch of coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup. If you prefer softer strawberries, add them to the oats during the cooking process. The heat will soften them slightly. I prefer a fresh bite to mine. Also I used Soyatoo - a dairy-free whipped topping, but if you'd like to use regular whipped cream/topping, but all means do it. I'm sure it will be just as tasty!

Cook Time: < 5 minutes
Prep Time: < 5 minutes
Serves: 1


  • 1 serving of cooked steel cut oats (or 3/4c of cooked oats)
  • 1 tsp ground organic flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 large organic strawberries, sliced
  • 1 dollop of dairy-free whipped topping

If you are not using the steel cut oats recipe, add 1 splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt to oats as they cook. 

If reheating the steel cut oats - add the almond milk and flaxseed during the reheating process. Make sure to stir well. 

If the oat are freshly cooked - top with the almond milk and flaxseed and stir well. Let the oats absorb the liquid.

The top the oatmeal with the sliced strawberries and a small dollop of whipped topping. Easy enough and very filling. 

Nutritional Info for entire recipe:
Calories: 200 ; Fat: 5.5g ; Carbohydrate: 34g ; Fiber: 7g ; Sugar: 4g ; Protein: 8g

Friday, June 22, 2012

Italian Rainbow Chard & Bean Soup

Sometimes after a long day, a warm bowl of soup is what helps me unwind from the hustle and bustle. Even though it is summer time, I still enjoy warm meals every so often. This soup has a nice Italian flair, kind of like a minestrone, minus the pasta. Letting the Parm rind simmer in the soup, gives it amazing flavor and a nice saltiness (so try to not over salt). Rainbow Chard is a denser green(compared to spinach) that holds up well to the cooking process and maintains a nice bite, even when reheated. Also it is absolutely beautiful! Eat the rainbow... that's where you'll be sure to get a variety of nutrients that your body needs. By adding the chard leaves towards the end, you retain most of the nutrients. This soup has plenty of protein, veggies, and fiber. Definitely filling! 

I only used 2 of the 4 stems in this recipe because the stems have a bit of a woody taste and too much can give it an off taste. You could omit the stems completely if you'd like - but I  like to try to use everything (no waste). By substituting the chicken stock for veggie stock and omitting the Parm rind, this is an excellent Vegan main dish. This soup freezes well and makes for a great next day lunch. So no waste here :)

Italian Rainbow Chard & Bean Soup

Cook Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6 

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 4 organic rainbow chard, stems (2, diced) and leaves (chopped into bite-sized pieces) separated 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-14.5oz can of organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tbsp organic tomato paste
  • 2-15oz cans of organic pinto beans or cannelloni, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups of chicken or veggie stock
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • rind of Parmigiano Reggiano (any size)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (optional)

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and 2 of the rainbow chard stems only (add more if you'd like, but I find it makes the soup a bit too woody). Saute for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the rest of the ingredient except the rainbow chard leaves and the lemon. Raise the heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Allow the soup to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Then add the rainbow chard leaves, stir well into the soup. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. 

Add the juice of the lemon, stir well. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as necessary (more salt or pepper).

Serve piping hot with crusty bread for sopping up the soup. Top with Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Nutritional Info per Serving (assuming this makes 4):
Calories: 255 ; Fat: 2g ; Carbohydrate: 46g ; Fiber: 15g ; Sugar: 7g ; Protein: 13g 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award!

I wanted to start off by thanking Go Bake Yourself for nominating me for this blogger award. She has an awesome blog with lots of droll-worthy treats. Check her out! 

It's my first time being nominated for anything... and I'm completely taken away and proud! Thank you SOOOO much :)

The rules for this award are....
  1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you.
  2. Include a link to their site.
  3. Include the award image to your post.
  4. Include the award image on your blog.
  5. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
  6. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
  7. When nominating other bloggers, include links to their sites.
  8. Let those bloggers know they have been nominated. 

My 7 random facts are:
  1. I am a HUGE nerd for word games (scrabble, crosswords, anagrams, etc.)
  2. Nothing makes me happier than to take a much needed afternoon nap in my own bed.
  3. I dream of moving back to California, one day...
  4. I'm a health/wellness/nutrition information junkie. I can't get enough!
  5. I've spent more than 1/2 my life overweight/obese, and since I've changed my life around - I don't forsee ever being that way again.
  6. Foods I can't give up: an excellent cup of coffee, high quality dark chocolate (70% or greater) and lightly salted peanut butter.
  7. I'm a 1st generation Colombian-American - so I've got a latin twist!

And the nominees are.... (drum roll)

Congrats to all of the nominees... you deserve it! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I wanted to let you all know that on my facebook page I am raffling off a copy of "Women, Food and God" by Geneen Roth - in hardback. It's such an excellent book, if you haven't read it. I have my own personal copy that I have marked up and highlighted to death. 

To enter, "like" my page and once I reach 300 "likes", I will select a person at random to receive this awesome book. 

I'm about 15 "likes" away from choosing a winner! So get your entry in....

**I will continue to hold different raffles throughout the year for various reasons, so keep your eyes open!

Earthy Spinach and Mushroom Chicken

The mushrooms in this dish really shine. There is such an earthy flavor going on. It is hearty enough for any appetite - full of veggies, lean protein and very little oil used. Excellent meal to serve any weeknight. It comes together quickly and uses only 1 pot. Also most of the ingredients are pantry staples, so no need to make an extra trip to the store. 

I used baby bellas, as they stand up well during the cooking process. I didn't discard the stems though. I cut up the stems and used them in this recipe. It helps make the flavor earthy and full. I really like using chicken thighs, as they tend to stay moist and have a bit more flavor than chicken breast. This meal can be easily halved or doubled, depending on how many mouths you need to feed. It is great for leftovers or next day lunch. The flavors really come together the second time around. 

I opted to toss the spinach, mushroom and chicken mixture with freshly cooked pasta, but it is completely optional. By omitting the pasta, this is a wonderful Primal, Low-Carb or Gluten-Free meal. Same goes for the cheese that I used as a garnish - completely optional. By omitting the cheese, this is a dairy-free. 

Earthy Spinach and Mushroom Chicken

Cook Time: < 30 minutes
Prep Time: < 10 minutes
Serves: 4 


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb of organic boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp of Herbs de Provence 
  • 2 tbsp organic tomato paste
  • 8oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (use stems)
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (I used Shiraz) or chicken stock


  • 8oz of dry spaghetti (cook according to directions on container)
  • freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano 
  • fresh parsley, minced 

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. 

Optional: Heat another large pot with salted water - for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to directions

Add the diced onions to the oil and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Make sure to stir every so often.

Add the chicken thighs, salt & pepper, Herbs de Provence. Let the chicken thighs brown on 1 side for about 5 minutes, then turn. Cook for another 5 minutes. 

Add the tomato paste, mushrooms and spinach. Stir in well. Cook for about 5 minutes. 

Add the red wine and cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the alcohol to cook out. 

Serve as is, or as I chose to - tossed with spaghetti, Parm and parsley.

Nutritional Info per Serving (not including optional toppings/pasta):
Calories: 215 ; Fat: 6g ; Carbohydrates: 12g ; Fiber: 3g ; Sugar: 2g ; Protein: 26g

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Slim Pecan Pie Oatmeal

Pecan Pie Oatmeal?! Oh yes... and it's an excellent start to any day. Creamy, crunchy and lightly sweetened, this oatmeal is such a treat - only guilt free! Whole grain, low sugar and portable, my kind of breakfast. I try to make most meals that I eat balanced in some way, so adding the pecans gives the oatmeal some good fats.

Since I had my little container of  already cooked steel cut oats, I added the almond milk during the re-warming. I then jazzed it up with some ingredients I had on hand. I toasted the pecans slightly in the toaster oven, while the oats warmed up in the microwave w/ the almond milk. I used dark brown sugar because it has a nice molasses flavor, similar to that of pecan pie. If you have molasses on hand, then I would use that instead (I just didn't have any).

Slim Pecan Pie Oatmeal
Cook Time: < 5 minutes
Prep Time: < 5 minutes
Serves: 1

  • 1 serving of steel cut oats or 3/4 cup of cooked oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp ground organic flaxseed
  • 5 organic pecan halves
  • 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar, packed

Use already cooked oats or cook oats according to your likeness. (If you aren't making the steel cut oats, then add a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt to your oats as they are cooking.)

Stir in the almond milk (room temp, or heat slightly) and flaxseed. 

Top with the pecan pieces and brown sugar. 

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 240 ; Fat: 11g ; Carbohydrates: 34g ; Fiber: 7g ; Sugar: 4g ; Protein: 8g

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nutritional Info on all Recipes!

I'm pleased to announce that I will be posting nutritional information on all recipes and over time, editing the previous entries with their nutritional infomation as well. Also I will be labeling all posts, for easy navigation - Cleaning Eating, Gluten-Free, Vegan, etc. 

I will be reducing the amount of posts, as I am expecting a child in the next couple weeks, but I do promise to still deliver the best! 

I welcome all feedback! I want to make the page as easy to read as possible. So if you'd like for me to include certain things or omit certain things, please let me know. Any labels I may be missing or may have used that do not pertain to the post, please let me know as well. 

I'm really excited about the new renovation! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. 

- Laurie

Spicy Thai Beef Red Curry

Almost every time my husband and I go out for Thai food, I order curry. I can't get enough of it! So I decided to try to make it at home. This is my 2nd attempt at making it (the first time around it was too mild and a bit watery). This time it came out perfectly - savory, spicy, and balanced. It was so easy to make, you just have to stock your pantry with the right ingredients. I am going to continue to experiment with cooking thai curries - this is going to be awesome!!

Most Thai Curries are made with full fat coconut milk (which is absolutely delicious), but I like to reduce the amount of fat I eat when cooking at home. I substituted the regular coconut milk for the light coconut milk. It makes the sauce a bit thinner but you'll hardly notice the difference. I also didn't use much oil in the process, making it lighter. 

 Spicy Thai Beef Red Curry

Cook Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: < 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6 


  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 organic carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 organic bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 lb of grass-fed sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1 can of bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed well
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans of organic light coconut milk
  • 3-4 tbsp of red curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fish oil
  • fresh cilantro (optional), minced

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.

Add the onion, carrot and pepper. Saute for about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and saute for 3 more minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a plate, and set aside.

In the same pot, add the sirloin strips (season with a little salt and pepper). Cook for about 4 minutes, or until all pieces are cooked through. Remove from the pot and set aside. 

Now add the rest of the ingredients (except the cilantro) and stir well. Make sure to break up the red curry paste well. Allow the coconut milk to come almost to a boil. Add the veggies and the meat back into the pot. 

Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. 

Serve the beef curry over fresh jasmine rice. Garnish with a little cilantro.

Recipe adapted from Thai Kitchen

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oven Fries w/ Chimichurri

Why would you buy frozen fries, when these are so freakin' good?! Easy to make and you are controlling the ingredients. While these are in the oven becoming delicious, you could be prepping the rest of your meal. Simple side dish, that is fuss free.

I had a bit of leftover chimichurri, so I decided to use it to dress my potatoes. The chimichurri is clean tasting and has a nice tartness to it (Spanish version of salt and vinegar maybe?). They are so good, you could eat them by themselves. You could also omit the chimichurri completely and just eat the oven fries plain. How ever you'd like. 

Oven Fries w/ Chimichurri 

Cook Time: 40-50 minutes @ 400F
Prep Time: < 5 minutes
Serves: 4 


  • 1 lb organic red potatoes, cut into fries or 1/4 inch thick pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp of chimichurri

Preheat oven to 400F. 

Toss the red potatoes with the olive oil. Coat well. Spread the potatoes out evenly on a rimmed cookie sheet. 

Transfer the cookie sheet to the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or golden brown. Make sure to toss the potatoes a few times while they are baking, so all sides are cooked well.

Once the potatoes are thoroughly cooked, salt and pepper to taste. Then toss the potatoes with the chimichurri in a bowl. Serve immediately.