When I am not busy taking care of my two energetic little boys, or working on an interior design project~ I play in the kitchen! For the last 15 years, I have been juxtaposing new flavors and ideas; it’s finally time to document my recipes...

I believe in fresh & affordable meals.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Simple GREEN salad

This salad tastes healthy~ cause it is! Buy FRESH greens and cheese for this recipe.

What you need... 
Fancy Mixed Greens
Balsamic Vinegar (or a lemon)
Olive Oil
Dijon Mustard
Parm Cheese (sometimes I use hard (shaved) goat cheese- OMG, FANTASTIC!! if you adore goat cheese like me, go that route. The Carlsbad Costo has a phenomenal hard goat cheese right now)
Pine nuts

Make it...
Wash and trim asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil in the oven (500 deg.) on middle rack for 5 minutes. Take out & sprinkle with your cheese of choice. Put back under the broiler- top rack- for 2-4 minutes till cheese turns golden (the goat cheese does not really golden like parm, just melts). Set aside.

Toss your greens with 1/2 olive oil & 1/2 balsamic (or lemon juice). I LOVE lemons- but some people find them too tart. Use your good olive oil on this dish. Add nuts. Toss. Top with lots of pepper. Add salt to your liking. If you like garlic- add fresh crushed garlic to this salad. It would taste sooo good. Garlic and I don't get along these days. 

Put Asparagus on top of tossed salad. 

Drizzle asparagus with Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard has a very intense flavor. If you are unsure- leave it off!

The Reasons Asparagus Keeps Us Healthy:
1 - As a detox - asparagus has 288 milligrams of potassium per cup. Potassium is known for reducing belly fat (see belly fat link below). It also contains 3 grams of fiber which cleanses the digestive system. It has virtually no natural sodium so no bloating during PMS, has no fat or cholesterol, and one cup has only 40 calories. According to a clinical dietician at UCLA Medical Center, asparagus in the ultimate in detox vegetables.
2 - For anti-aging purposes - asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and folate. It is also very high in glutathione - an amino acid compound with protent antioxidant properties; a must as an anti-aging deterrent. Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant that protects cells from toxins such as free radicals.
3 - As an aphrodisiac - the asparagus is considered a psycho-physiological aphrodisiac because of its shape. It is said to trigger the mind to have a physiological response. The French word for asparagus is asperge; asperge is a slang word for penis.
4 - Against cancer - asparagus in high in folate which is now known to be an important protection against cancer. Note: Folate is found naturally in leafy green vegetables, and citrus fruits. While folic acid is said to be the same as folate, folic acid is the supplemental form. It is always recommeded that you get health benefits from eating healthy whole foods.
5 - Reducing pain and inflammation - it is the folate that helps reduce inflammation.
6 - Preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis - asparagus has vitamin K which studies have shown can help prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin K aids in bone formation and repair. It is also necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is the protein in bone tissue on which calcium crystallizes. Asparagus has been listed as the number one source of vitamin K.
7 - Reducing the risk of heart disease - it is the folate that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
8 - Preventing birth defects - getting enough folate (doctors often recommend the folic acid supplement) is especially important for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Having a folate deficiency has been correlated with increased risk of Spina Bifida (a spinal cord birth defect) and also anencephaly (a neural tube defect). Folate helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation and may also help to prevent premature births.
Additionally, studies have shown that the nutritional benefits of asparagus can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Overall, asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, folate, glutathione, and vitamin K. It is high in fiber, has no sodium, is low in calories and has no cholesterol or fat.
thank you for the information::: http://hubpages.com/hub/10-Super-Health-Benefits-of-Asparagus

Coconut Strawberry Cupcakes

Karen wanted a fruity dessert for her b-day....So, I created something that was a 'lil more healthy than boxed berry cake. The cake turns out kinda like pound cake - but WAY less butter! I ended up making cupcakes & cutting them in half.  Topped em with whip and strawberries. Everyone ate 1/2 the cake they usually would...but with the same satisfaction.
  •  2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, soft
  • 1 1/4 cups light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


Cream sugar, vanilla & butter in blender on medium speed. Add all other ingredients OTHER THAN EGGS. Continue to beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add each egg 1 at a time. Blend for 30 seconds after each egg. 
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray your pan or muffin tin. Add mix.
Cook muffins for 20-25 mins & cake pan for apx 30-35 mins. Poke with toothpick. Get any goo?- put back in the oven.


  • 1 cup diced strawberries + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Canned whip cream

Combine Strawberries and 2 tsp. sugar
Cut muffin cakes in half spray with whip and top with Strawberries. 

Cutting the muffins & topping with whip means less calories & less fillers than the nasty store bought frosting (but just as easy). Top with more coconut ( I ran out :(((). Fancy it up by toasting your coconut. Put shredded coconut in the oven under the broiler (on tinfoil or baking sheet) and toast for a few mins till it turns brown.

Coconut Milk adds fun FLAVA & has great value for your body!
Coconuts are seen by some as a miracle food, helping protect and cure the body of internal and external ailments. Coconut milk has many uses, most of which build up the immune system and the body's defenses. You can find coconut milk in the ethnic foods section of a local grocery store or make it at home.
  1. Nutrients

    • Coconut milk contains many vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, including potassium, calcium and chloride.

    Saturated Fat

    • The saturated fat in coconut is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, even though it's high in saturated fat, coconut can aid in weight loss.

    Lauric Acid

    • Half the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut milk are composed of lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Coconut milk can help boost the immune system.


    • Coconut milk is a dairy-free alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to animal milk. This vegan drink is also soy-free, gluten-free and nut-free.

    Relief of Ailments

    • Coconut milk is known to relieve the symptoms of sore throats and ulcers.

Read more: Coconut Milk Health Benefits | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_4744724_coconut-milk-health-benefits.html#ixzz1IDf7mLdZ