This beverage was the brilliant idea of Ms. Witty and Pretty herself, Ashley Hesseltine. Last Tuesday, we found ourselves hard at work exploring the paradise island of Isla Mujeres, located just off the coast of Cancun. It's there where we had, quite possibly, one of the best breakfasts of my life at Mango Café, a charming, off-the-beaten-path, 10-table restaurant with a very cool, down-to-earth vibe. At 10 a.m. mimosas were a must, and that's when the selection of fresh fruit juices written on the chalk board - mango, tamarind and watermelon, to name a few - inspired one of the world's best ideas. "Wait. Can we have our mimosas with watermelon?" Ash said. "Sure," said Polo Avila, the owner and our new hero. I'm just the messenger.
Watermelon & feta cheese salad
A refreshing, healthy complement to traditional Independence Day dishes. Enjoy this salad this Fourth of July and beyond. Happy Fourth, friends!
I just came back from another amazing week in Peru, most of which was spent in Cusco visiting my client, the JW Marriott Cusco. I, of course, overindulged, realizing today that I had dessert with breakfast, lunch and dinner all week long. Yikes. Alas, what else is a girl to do when she's visiting one of the best countries in the world to eat? Eat, take notes and come home to share the best of what I learned with you. Once again, our group went behind the scenes of the kitchen at Pirqa, the JW's main restaurant, where Chef Rely showed us how to make authentic Peruvian ceviche. His recipe called for trout, a common ingredient in the Andes. I opted for salmon, which I found fresh at my local grocery store. You can use whatever fish you love. In any case, it was light, fresh, and healthy -- exactly what I need to kick off a healthy week.
chocolate chip waffles
It seems my body has become used to waking up at the crack of dawn… even on Sundays! With no 6 a.m. spinning or yoga class to rush to this morning, the only thing left to do was whip up a batch of chocolate chip waffles. I've been in a chocolate chip daze all week after making a stop at Jacques Torres' shop in New York City for his amazing French Kiss Chocolate Chip Cookie -- which I've dangerously learned you can buy online. But back to the waffles. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I put a spin on my original waffle recipe using coconut oil and dark chocolate chips.
SPICY, SPEEDY STIR FRY
I know, I know -- I kinda fell off the map. So much for those "resolution" recipes, right? Well, the bad news is that I failed one resolution already, and that's keeping up with this blog on a weekly basis. (I do plan to change that, starting today.) The good news is I have managed to stick to a consistent exercise routine (we meet again, Spinning!) and consequently lose seven pounds… woohoo! You and I know, however, that no amount of exercise will do the trick without a healthy meal plan, and for the last five weeks or so, this dish right here has been my go-to dinner (and lunch - gotta love leftovers!) at least three to four times a week. It's that good! And that easy, and that versatile so there's no room to get bored. This has definitely been a "resolution recipe" for me, and I hope it becomes one for you, too, no matter where you are in your journey. Let's get cooking!
BREAKFAST FRITTATA FOR ONE
Happy New Year, friends! No doubt, we all have resolutions on our minds, and I'm willing to bet we all have health-related goals on our lists. I, for one, would like to drop a couple of pounds. Yup, it happens -- life creeps up on you and before you know it, you've fallen off the wagon. It happens to the best of us. My weight loss goal is somewhere between five and 10 pounds. One day at a time. I know first hand that preparation is key, and that's why I came up with this breakfast recipe. What's to love? Cook once, enjoy it all five days of the week. It's also very easy to swap ingredients to keep things interesting. I don't know about you, but I find myself in trouble when I get bored. This week it'll be caramelized onions, Canadian bacon, spinach and some delicious Brie. Enjoy!
skinny eggplant lasagna
This dish is the perfect example of what I call “making it skinny,” i.e. waistline friendly. I’ve swapped out traditional ingredients for healthier ones, resulting in a dish I can feel great about without skimping on taste. In this case, the eggplant takes the place of the pasta, saving hundreds of calories. Meanwhile, the eggplant is almost buttery, and somehow even reminds me of my mom’s béchamel. In place of ground beef, I used ground turkey breast, which is virtually fat free and uber high in protein. The spices add flavor with none of the fat, and using real tomatoes versus the canned stuff gives the sauce a certain freshness
Carpe Diem Crab Cakes
I had yet to find crab cakes like the ones I had in a tiny town in Maryland, an hour or two away from DC, until I made my own. To me, there's nothing like a good crab cake. And how do you know when it's good? When all you can taste is the sweetness of the crab with no fillers like breadcrumbs or mayonnaise to ruin the party. Why do I call these Carpe Diem crab cakes? A recent blog post I wrote for IMUSA has the answer.
Ever since I got really into cooking, I’ve always made it a point to figure out the fastest way possible to make a dish. In fact, in looking through my recipe index, I think it’s safe to say most of my recipes can be made in as little as 15 minutes and most in no longer than one hour. If we’re talking about weeknight cooking, especially for those who have very little time to get a decent, healthy dinner on the table, I call that a win. Sometimes, though, isn’t it nice to just take it slow?
By no means am I a vegetarian; I gave it a try once, and while I felt great, I am a carnivore at heart. But this dish right here was as satisfying as a piece of perfectly cooked filet. Okay, that's an overstatement, but it is worthy of all this praise. I think I came across this on a menu somewhere; I can't remember where but the idea of it intrigued me. And so last weekend, right as I was going to tackle a head of cauliflower, I was inspired to try making my own cauliflower steak, and am I glad that I did.
NICE TO MEET YOU.
I'M LUISANA - A PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL, WORLD TRAVELER, RECIPE DEVELOPER, AND RELENTLESS EATER. JOIN ME AS I DISCOVER THE KEY TO DELICIOUS LIVING, ONE HEALTHY RECIPE AT A TIME.
Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian, counselor, personal trainer, doctor, or any other healthcare related professional. I do not mind giving advice or suggestions, but please keep in mind that I have NOT been trained in these fields. If you ask me a question I will answer it to the best of my ability.