We’ve all been there, staring at the refrigerator trying to see what to whip up for dinner. Sometimes there’s a plan, and sometimes there isn’t and today was that day!
It was Monday evening and we had chicken. We did not have any fresh veggies so I opened the freezer and saw some zucchini wedges I had frozen from the height of the pandemic.
Soy Lime Grilled Chicken is always easy and yummy so I decided on that! I make this marinade all the time so I usually don’t measure.
Here’s my guesstimate!
3/4 cup of soy sauce
1 spoonful of minced garlic
1 spoonful of honey
juice of one lime
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
Just dump the chicken in and let it sit at least 20 minutes before grilling.
Then I found an inspiration for hibachi style veggies. I was a little worried about the zucchini being frozen but it was the only veggie I had to work with. I heated up a skillet, drizzled some sesame oil in the pan and dumped the frozen zucchini in.
The zucchini started to release a ton of water so I just let them cook until the water started to dry up. After several minutes, the zucchini started to brown. This process took a while so I browned some sesame seeds while I was waiting for the water to cook down.
I tried to resist the urge to stir the veggies so they wouldn’t turn to mush. I mixed together a little soy sauce and squeezable ginger and drizzled it over the zucchini and then sprinkled them with the sesame seeds.
Pulling it all together
Finally, I used some leftover jasmine rice, put about 2 tbs of butter in it and squeezed a half a lime into the rice after I zested the peel into the rice and microwaved it for 3 minutes.
We took the chicken off the grill, the sides were ready and dinner turned out better than expected! I have a lot of friends who have a lot of zucchini coming out of their gardens so YES, you can indeed cut it up and freeze it and still enjoy it months later just like this!
With all the uncertainty in the world, we are not going on any vacations this summer. We love to travel but it’s just not possible this year. No one wants to get on a plane this summer for good reason.
New Jersey is blessed and cursed at the moment….. one of the most locked down states in the country but also one of the most delightful places in the summer. Did you know there are lovely mountains in NJ? I didn’t either…. before I moved here…. and it’s delightful out here in the Garden State!
Growing up in the South, I never knew how fabulous Jersey Corn and Tomatoes were…. or how delightful the Jersey Shore could be so at least we have a gorgeous summer to look forward to!
We have decided to make lemonade out of lemons and are doing things to make our outdoor living space even more enjoyable like many others around the country.
Now is a perfect time to refresh the pillows, umbrellas and flower pots or whatever you can to enjoy your outdoor space even more. Let’s face it, you’re going to see it a lot this summer. We took on a low voltage lighting project this past week that really added value to our deck! I say “we” lightly because I had input but my husband did all the work. Thank goodness he is handy because he just knows how to do things like this and is willing!
We added lighting to our deck steps so that we can confidently walk out from the house and see the step down. All of a sudden, we find ourselves in our 50’s and it’s not bright enough to see the step down. LOL…. we are indeed turning into our parents.
I’ve also pulled out an old decorative piece I hadn’t used in a while… this gorgeous planter that goes around my umbrella to create a 360 degree centerpiece! ! It really makes me happy to see it and makes my outdoor living space more inviting! Even if you don’t have this pretty planter, you can easily just put a few small flower pots out with some annuals to spruce it up! I am going to be home more than not this summer so I certainly have time to water it. That’s always been the challenge when we travel.
I wasn’t up to planting a full on garden this summer but I do love to plant a few herbs and tomatoes for a quick Capresse salad (tomatoes, buffalo mozzerella and some basil) or a nice little refreshing Mojito with some fresh mint and lime! This simple pleasure adds to our outdoor dining experience and gives me a little something to tend to! We simply potted these in pots on the deck so I can water everything easily! SO much joy out of these simple things!
Finally… since we want to entertain but we have to do it carefully and responsibly, we moved an outdoor table into our gazebo for covered outdoor dining! Honestly, it felt like a special event or a vacation… sitting outside and being protected from the drizzle that sometimes comes with summer storms. We enjoyed a poolside dining experience and once the rain stopped, we enjoyed the beautiful sunset!
Joy and happiness doesn’t have to come from traveling the world, or having things… sometimes just cherishing your home, and your friends and family and all the blessings that we have right at our fingertips, is all you need. The pandemic has unveiled a lot of emotions in people ranging from fear to annoyance, panic, anxiety, care, love and gratefulness…. and sometimes we can succumb to all of these emotions even in one day.
I want to choose to be happy and hopeful rather than being fearful and desperate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m being careful and am taking this pandemic seriously. I’m following guidelines and not being around a lot of people because I do want to protect the people I love… but I am choosing to be grateful everyday for what I have. People I love, friendships and health… I do feel blessed! I pray that everyone reading this can focus on the good in this situation… I know it’s not possible for all but I hope that focusing on the good brings you more good in your life! Remember… your thoughts, become your words, become your actions, become your habits which become your destiny…. so choose happy!! God bless!
After I shared my blog with my friends, someone immediately asked me for this recipe! I’m so excited to share it!
Pad Thai is one of my “cravings” I have and I love that I can make it myself now. It’s super easy and delicious!
You’ll need the following:
8 oz rice noodles
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/2 small package of bean sprouts
1/2 small package of snow peas
2 cloves garlic minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined, tails off is nice too.
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c peanuts chopped
Sweet chili Sauce
Cook rice noodles per instructions
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper. Set aside
In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add bell pepper, snow peas, sprouts and cook until about tender (approx 4 min). Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant about 1 min more. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook until pink.
Push the shrimp and vegetables aside and pour in the egg and scramble until just set then mix with the shrimp mixture. Add cooked noodles and toss until combined. Pour in the lime juice mixture and toss until coated.
I found that this recipe is a little dry… so add sweet chili sauce to taste and to moisten. Depending on how spicy you like it, add Sriracha sauce to the entire pan or to individual servings. Top each plate with green onions and peanuts and even a wedge of lime! Enjoy!
For the past 2 years, I’ve had to modify my diet. I’m almost 51 and it’s harder to keep weight at bay… so I’ve cut out gluten, sugar and most dairy… and eat Low fat now. I think I’ve finally weaned myself off sugar because my sweet tooth seems less demanding! I never thought I would see that day coming!
I love how the grocery stores today are helping with the prep work! Already cut up veggies makes this a super simple supper!
Just throw all of these ingredients into a skillet with a little broth, add lid to “steam” and then add some low sugar full of flavor Fra Diavlo sauce and some crushed red pepper and you have yourself a meal! I’m a huge fan of spices to really kick up simple dishes a notch! Add some protein… some sautéed shrimp, chicken or chicken meatballs 🙂 and you have a super healthy meal in less than 20 minutes!
So next time you’re at the store, avoid the pre-packaged foods with lots of preservatives…. go with fresh ingredients…. cut up if necessary to save time and you’ll be on your way to healthy in no time!
What are your go-to healthy meals? I’d love to hear!
Cooking skinny so you can get in that bathing suit this summer? Here’s a no fat, no carb, no sugar and no dairy, PACKED with flavor Mexican chicken recipe with Spanish Riced Cauliflower that is YUMMY!!
You’ll need: Chicken, Chipotle Seasoning, Cilantro, Rotel Tomatoes, Jalepeno slices, and Juice of 1 lime to make the chicken! It takes about 5 min of prep and 20-30 min of bake time depending on the thickness of your chicken.
Just shake chipotle seasoning on both sides of your chicken in a large baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with chopped cilantro and then dump on can of Rotel Tomatoes on top, sprinkle some jalapeño slices on top of that and then squeeze lime juice over entire dish of chicken. BAKE!
As a perfect SIDE dish with no carbs… .Try Spanish Riced Cauliflower instead of Spanish Rice
Here’s what you’ll need in addition to your riced cauliflower you can find in your local grocery store!
Just saute your riced cauliflower in chicken broth… Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Add and mix in a can of Rotel Tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, Garlic salt and Oregano to taste…. cook until cauliflower is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
All you’ll need is a side salad to compliment this meal!
Admittedly, I’m almost 50 years old….. (How did that happen?) But I love where I am in life because I have figured out a lot! Of course, my elders would say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”, and that is true. I say that about my kids. They are very responsible and make good decisions so far in life but they don’t know what they don’t know… and that can ONLY be learned through experience. Life is a series of experiences…… and experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want most of the time!
I’ve learned a lot in my short life so far…. even had to deal with the death of two parents and that, my friends, will give you experience. I have thought a lot about my blog and where I want it to go…. My passions are family, faith, food and entertaining, creative ideas like decorating and fashion/accessorizing along with my passion for gadgets and products I love…. I also LOVE organization and love to travel. I love to cook healthy food and FINALLY figured out how to keep my “mid-life weight” under control by choosing healthy food….. REAL food and not products I have to purchase. THAT makes me excited!
It gets me excited to share this wisdom with people who have not figured it out yet….. Being a woman today is an interesting journey…. Many of us work, either part time or full time and want to maintain a balance of work/life and family…. while trying to be organized enough to cook healthy meals, take care of ourselves and do all the things that make us happy while not losing our sanity as we try to take care of the ones around us that we love.
I really feel like I have some great tips and great ideas to help women keep that balance, feel productive and feel sane doing it because of “experience”. We won’t all be perfect… but we will find some peace and sanity doing it.
Follow me on this journey of blog posts….. if nothing else, my daughter can read this one day and get advice from her mother 🙂
I’ve recently tried to eliminate Gluten from my diet. Not because I’m intolerant, but because I needed to lose weight! One of my friends asked for Gluten Free Recipes today and so I got inspired to post a great and VERY easy recipe here on my blog! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Would love your feedback!
1 cup paleo-friendly almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, syrup, egg, ghee, and vanilla. Stir in the cocoa powder and baking soda.
Pour the batter into a 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the brownie is done, but still soft in the middle.
Does anyone else feel like they are just coming out of their summer “fog”? I am. It seems to take a while to get back in the groove after having no schedule in the summer. Don’t get me wrong… summer was productive. It wasn’t just sitting by the pool and sipping drinks….. we got a lot of projects done around the house but it has seriously taken me until MID- October to feel like things are settling into a groove! Crazy!
So… The reason I said “Happy New Year” is because I think August or September (depending on when your school starts) should be the NEW YEAR! It’s a time when we start over…. refresh…. get into a routine again after a summer of being less structured. Kids go back to school, Mom’s start to get things in order around the house.. and maybe start to take care of themselves again. Work schedules out of the house seem more relaxed during the summer because everyone is on vacation here and there and Fall, well, everyone is back to business! Even the calendars you buy at the store either begin in January or academic calendars begin in EITHER July or August? How confusing!
I seem to place less emphasis on the “new year” in January and seem to feel a lot more inclined to start over and start fresh in September? How about you?
I begin to eat healthy again after a summer of indulgences…. I begin to exercise again because there is a routine and I begin to organize after a summer of having everyone in the house. September seems to be MY new year!
So… I am taking it on… Got new glasses to start off the “new me” and I’m back to cooking healthy and eating better! I’m reflecting on the past with perspective… and dreaming of my future.
Are you ready to see some posts because I took most of the summer off? What do you want to hear more of? Here are my passions: Decorating, entertaining, fashion & accessorizing, product junkie, food and cooking, parenting, travel, some DIY projects, and Organization and business! I feel like my years of experience can serve me well as I’m venturing into the “mature adult” phase of my life! Tell me what you want to hear more of! I’d love to share!
Do you love a little treat in the evening? But the glass of wine or bowl of ice cream in the evening is doing a number on your weight? Try my calorie free Mojito! This is my new favorite concoction! Seltzer, Lime, Mint and a little liquid Stevia! Stevia takes the place of simple syrup.. and gives you that sweet taste! Since good Mint is hard to find… I buy a lot of it, wash, remove the leaves from the stems and freeze!
When I want a little mint in my drink, I simply remove from the freezer… crush a few leaves and enjoy! Now… if you want to turn this into a cocktail for the weekend… add a little Titos Vodka or Organic cucumber Vodka for a little something low carb!
I’ve been enjoying my mocktails every evening…. and if you don’t have mint… just do lime, seltzer and stevia…. Let me know what you think!
Are you working on your Spring Slimdown for bathing suit season? Almost every woman I know…. and some men, are trying to exercise and eat healthier for Spring!
For the last 30 days or so, I’ve eliminated sugar, carbs/gluten and even fat from my diet… except good fats like nuts, coconut oil, avocado etc. I have not had anything to drink but water, tea and coffee and have basically eaten WHOLE foods! Lean protein, vegetables and limited fruit.
First 7 days were hard! I admit it! The natural inclination to grab a cheese stick, a piece of chocolate, a chip or two was super strong! Now… I’m almost reformed although I admit I crave an occasional bagel, cookie or pasta, I’m really doing well!
Just thought I would share some of my favorite new healthy recipes with you over the next few weeks…. I would love to hear some of yours!
One of my favorite lunches is tuna with onions and dijon mustard wrapped in lettuce and topped with chopped tomatoes! Lunch is under 200 calories and is filling and delicious! Add salt and pepper to taste! Leave out that mayo! It’s packed with unnecessary calories!
Getting slim doesn’t mean not eating….. it just means you can eat REAL food … delicious food! Here’s to our heath!