Broccoli Noodles

If you love noodles but are avoiding starchy foods, I have the perfect swap for you! Trader Joe’s sells organic broccoli slaw in their produce section for about a dollar a bag! The shredded broccoli stalks resemble noodles:


I’ve been trying to think of good substitutes for pastas. While spaghetti squash is the most obvious choice, long shreds of broccoli stalks and strings of zucchini sounded good too.

This recipe imparts a chow mein like flavor and texture to the broccoli:

1. Sauté 1 tsp garlic in 1 tbs olive oil.
Add the broccoli slaw and continue to sauté until it begins to soften.

2. Add a splash of chicken stock,
reduce heat, and cover to steam for about 5 mins.

3. Once the “noodles” have reached desired doneness, season with coconut aminos (or soy sauce), salt, and pepper.


Cucumber Radish Apple Salad

I made this salad for a potluck last week. It’s very refreshing for the summer! The cucumbers are juicy, the radishes are spicy, and the green apples are tart and sweet.

1. Start by thinly slicing 1/2 an English cucumber, 1 green apple, and a handful of radishes. I used a mandolin slicer, but a food processor would get the job done faster.

2. Combine in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 1 tbs honey, 1 tbs olive oil, and 2 tbs lime juice. Mix with 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint. Toss the salad with dressing and enjoy!

Today I tried to recreate the salad using a different dressing for my sugar detox. Unfortunately, the white wine vinegar, mustard, and garlic called for in my dressing recipe ruined the beautiful flavor of this salad. I’d recommend sticking to the honey, lime, and mint combo!


Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be awful or amazing depending on how you prepare them. Here’s how to make them amazing!

1. Toss fresh or frozen Brussels sprouts with a bit of olive oil in a bag to coat. Add salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

2. Roast at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the outsides are starting to become brown. Remove from oven.

3. Sauté a few tablespoons of chopped shallots or onion in a bit of olive oil. Once fragrant, toss in the Brussels sprouts.


I served them with a piece of rotisserie chicken from the store. So good! I hope you’ll give sprouts a chance!

“Beet” the heat smoothie recipe

Today’s green smoothie is a simple twist on the basic recipe from yesterday. Instead of using a whole green apple, use half and replace the other half with a few slices of frozen beets.


1. In a blender, combine 1/2 green apple, 1-2 cups fresh spinach, 3-4 slices frozen beets, 1 cup water, splash of lemon juice, and several ice cubes.

2. Begin on low speed and increase to high speed. Whirl until smooth. Allow the smoothie to settle for a minute if you prefer it to separate.

This is what it looks like well blended:


This is what it looks like after settling (even yummier!):


What’s your favorite “green” smoothie recipe?

Green juice for beginners

Ok, let’s get started with a ridiculously easy recipe. Even if you’re not doing a sugar detox, you may be curious about green smoothies and juices. They are probably the easiest way to pack some greens into your day! Here’s the most basic recipe for a rushed morning:

1. Cut a green apple into quarters.

2. Toss the apple, a handful of spinach, cup of water, splash of lemon juice, a d cup of ice into a blender.

3. Start on a low setting and quickly turn it to max speed. Blend for about 60 seconds or until the spinach and apple are completely liquefied and frothy.

This makes one MASSIVE green juice coming in at about 100 calories (depending on size of apple.) Enjoy!!


Cooking with cheap vegetables

Hello there! I’m back at Barnes and Noble, enjoying another weekly bookstore date with Colby! I think he’s reading about home defense (another of his favorite topics). It’s been a nice, laid back weekend so far. Yesterday I got myself mentally equipped for a double bootcamp workout. The first hour was pretty standard- a muscle burning shoulder and back session consisting of assisted pull ups, rows, lateral raises, shoulder presses, and more. The second class was a special treat: a basketball workout! Every Saturday, the 16 members of the “RAW Results” challenge are allowed to attend a special private bootcamp class. As one of the members, I got to partake in the special workout yesterday. Here’s the interesting thing about our group: we are all very good at bootcamp exercises (running, burpees, mountain climbers, etc), but we are NOT athletes. I actually think we were all the last ones picked to be on sports teams in PE classes as kids. We have always been so uncoordinated or out of shape that we decided to change it by becoming fitness beasts. We are, indeed, very “fit.” But we are unfit to play basketball. And our instructor knows nothing about the rules of the game, either. Here’s how it went:

To pick team captains, we all lined up and took turns shooting a free throw. The first two people to make a basket would be the captains. It took us three times going through the lineup before two people had made a basket. Although yesterday’s six on six basketball game reminded me that no, I am not, and will never be, an athlete, it was still fun. We were all happy that the instructor finally let us switch back to what we do best- jump squats, abdominal exercises, and sprints. Yes! We are champs in the sport of “fitness!”

The entertainment in the next part of my Saturday was provided by much better basketball skills. Colby and I attended the UNLV vs SDSU basketball game. Thanks, Agata, for the student ticket! I am not usually a fan of watching basketball. Colby typically has to bribe me with the promise of a jog together or an order of delicious chicken fingers at the game to get me to go. Yesterday he won me over with a brand new UNLV t-shirt.


The game was actually awesome! The best basketball game I’ve ever seen (and maybe this gets me off the hook for watching basketball in the future, after all, why watch any more games if they won’t be nearly as exciting as this one?) UNLV and SDSU were closely matched. SDSU’s style was razor sharp, they obviously practice a lot. The UNLV team was beastly, though, and beat out the opponents by two points during the last minute of the game! Woo hoo! Best part? Colby and I got free Raising Cane’s after the game with our tickets! I hope it’s possible to get free chicken strips with every student ticket in the future; I can see printing off a ticket, skipping the game, and heading right over to get my treat at Cane’s Winking smile 



Diet wise, I’m a little torn about the idea of being allowed a “cheat meal” each week. I get that it might be a good idea for most people as a metabolism boost or to safeguard against feeling deprived, but for me, a cheat meal usually turns into a whole cheat DAY (or cheat week). As far as splurges go, however, this was well worth it. The chicken strips were fresh and tender, never frozen, with a light marinade and breading. Only 127 calories per strip. The crinkle fries ROCKED with the special Cane’s sauce. The toast is usually delicious too, but the meal we got yesterday was kids meal sized: two tenders, fries, and sauce with a cup of water on the side. I try to keep in mind that it’s ok to get fast food as long as I downsize, not supersize.

Have you ever noticed that fast food, chocolate, and treats taste SO much better after a week of clean eating? I think that’s why Cane’s was so mouth wateringly exceptional yesterday. I ate very healthily most of the week.

Every Sunday I do my grocery shopping, usually at Fresh & Easy because they send me good coupons and their produce is frequently marked down for quick sale. When planning my meals for the week, I always start with the clearance section so I have some extra money left in the budget for items I can’t go without, like spinach and eggs.

Last weekend I brought home radishes, broccoli, french green beans, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It was a fun challenge to cook these up during the week. Here’s what I made:


Steamed green beans sautéed with onions, hot sauce, and chicken sausage. Crunchy and spicy!


Brussels sprouts tossed in olive oil, salt, and black pepper then oven roasted for 30 minutes at 425. Served with baked tilapia. Meh. They weren’t so spectacular, but maybe you’d love ‘em if you’re a big brussels sprouts fan.


Green cabbage stewed with diced chicken sausage and granny smith apples. Seasoned with only black pepper and lemon juice, this dish was excellent! Colby said this was one of the best meals I’ve made so far. Definitely making this again soon!


Broccoli florets tossed in olive oil, black pepper, and salt. Roasted for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and sprinkled with a bit of grated parmesan. These were freakishly good! The florets started to caramelize, so they were a little bit sweet and savory. Too bad there were none left for Colby.


The radishes were the biggest challenge. How the heck do you COOK radishes? I decided to try them sautéed with a bit of butter and served with seared tilapia. You wouldn’t even know these were radishes! They were sweet and tender, a bit like potatoes but much less starchy. I ended up sautéing them for about 15 minutes in a saucepan with the lid on to steam them tender. Topped simply with black pepper, these were a surprisingly good side dish.

One of the highlights of my week was the unique opportunity to lead two grocery shopping tours for families of the kids I work with. The store manager at Food 4 Less provided all the kids with goodie bags filled with fresh fruit. I think the key to getting kiddos to try new fruits and vegetables is to sample them like this. Who doesn’t love free food, after all? It was great to see how excited the families were to learn about healthy grocery shopping! They eagerly examined nutrition labels and ingredients lists to pick the healthiest breads, lunchmeats, and yogurts. Can’t wait to do more tours in the near future!

Do you shop with a grocery list? Do you love cooking and grocery shopping as much as I do?