Moroccan Style Cauliflower Rice

You know when you open up a cookbook and it immediately opens up to the page with your favorite recipe?? Well I think I’ve trained my newest cookbook to do just that because lately I find myself going to this recipe page A LOT.

I just purchased a new cookbook entitled “Go With Your Gut” by Robyn Youkilis. This book contains tips on banishing bloat and healthier eating habits. It also has seventy-five digestion-friendly recipes with beautiful pictures. Pick it up sometime. You will love it!!

After following her guidebook over the past two weeks, I’ve noticed some positive changes with my digestion issues. I have been able to recognize proper hunger cues, when my belly is full (not stuffed),  I have more energy and I don’t crave crappy food. I also lost 5 pounds! Yaayyy!!!

Her recipes are delicious, unique but easy to follow and make my belly very happy. I picked this book up at a local bookstore but you can also find it on Amazon.

go with your gut

Below is a recipe that I got from her book for Moroccan Style Cauliflower Rice. I’ve always loved Moroccan food ever since I visited Morocco back in 2006. For some reason, I’ve always had a hard time finding Moroccan style cookbooks. So when I saw this recipe in her book I had to make it for my husband and I. The combination of sweet, spicy and nutty flavors was on point and even better as a leftover meal.

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Ingredients:
1 head organic cauliflower
1 cup diced white or yellow onion
½ cup diced carrot
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup of golden or regular raisins
2 TBSP chopped fresh chive
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 Cup of veggie broth
2 TBSP coconut oil
2 tsp of orange zest
½ tsp of cayenne

Directions:
1) Break down the head of cauliflower into large florets. Chop the florets into small pieces and then pulse them in a food processor until they reach a rice-like texture. Do not overchop!  Set the riced cauliflower aside. (I usually make my cauliflower rice in advance and either store it in the freezer for two weeks or in the fridge for up to four days.)

2) Preheat a large skillet over low to medium heat and melt two tablespoons of coconut oil. Gently sauté the nuts for 2 minutes to 3 minutes. (You want a golden color and fragrant aroma).

3) Add the diced onion, carrot and cinnamon and stir well, cooking for three minutes.

4) Add the cauliflower rice to the pan and continue sautéing for one minute.

5) Add the vegetable stock, raisins, orange zest, and cayenne pepper and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

6) Garnish with the fresh chives and enjoy!!

 

 

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Summertime To-Do List 2016

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” -Charles Bowden

Aloha! And happy almost Summer! I know summer doesn’t officially start for a couple of weeks, but I consider Memorial Day weekend the start of summertime over here in sunny South Florida.

Although I don’t care for the heat and humidity , I am happy it’s here.  After 35 years of being a Florida girl, I think I can deal with the heat. I’m ready for my summer feels!

To me the summertime represents love, happiness, new experiences, parties, having fun and livin’ easy.

My husband and I haven’t made any travel plans. We just want to stay local and do some house projects which I am very excited about. I am also looking forward to spending time on the beach, wearing my sandals and flowy dresses, relaxing by the pool, going to bbqs with my favorite people, wearing less make up and letting my hair dry natural and wavy. I’m ready to relax and keep things simple.

I did create a summer bucket list of course since I am a planner and a bit “to-do” list obsessed 🙂 This is my  reminder to kick back and enjoy the season before its gone!

1) Visit The Girls’ Strawberry Patch

2) Start gardening

3) Go for long bike rides

4) Do beach yoga with beach yoga girl!

beach yoga

5) Read a book in my hammock 🙂

6) Go to Happy Hour at Guanabanas!

7) Visit Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

educational_overview

8) Take a road trip to Clearwater Beach

9) See a movie at the Lake Worth Drive-In

10) Watch a Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Show!!

weeki wachee mermaids

Anyone want to join me??

Marietta Diner

I just love diners. I find them so quirky and inviting. Especially when they are run by the mafia…..

marietta diner front
About a month ago, on a cold Sunday evening during my Atlanta-Woodstock visit, my girlfriend Kristy took me  to the Marietta Diner for dinner and a little one-on-one catch-up time.  I loved it!!  The staff was friendly and inviting and the food was phenomenal. We both ordered the Greek Platter which was a Gyro plate that came with a big helping of fries and a Greek salad. I was also very impressed with the free warm Spanikopitas they bring to your table instead of the usual bread basket.


marietta diner meals

As you can see from the photo, the portion sizes are pretty large so we were both too full to order dessert. Tsk…tsk… that was such a shame because those cakes looked absolutely heavenly! Oh well…my waist line thanked me but I know I will definitely be going back : )

The Marietta Diner, which is located on 306 Cobb Parkway South, has a huge menu with reasonable prices. They also say it’s run by mobsters but you didn’t hear that from me 😉 If you are in the Marietta area, you definitely have to check this place out!!

Private Wine and Painting Party

Painting parties are a lot of fun whether you are with your family, your girlfriends or on a date night with your honey. You can host them at your house or go to a studio where they’ll supply the paint, brushes, canvas, aprons and your palette. All you have to do is bring the wine. They’ll even give you wine glasses and a cork-screw 🙂

Sunday Brunch at J. Christopher’s:
During a recent trip to Atlanta, I spent the day with my good friends Annie and Tanya at a wine and painting party while my boyfriend Oscar spent the day with Mikey (his good friend and Annie’s husband) down in the Atlanta, Ga dome watching the Niners beat the  Falcons in the NFC Championship game.

Before the party, the three of us had brunch at J. Christopher’s; a friendly little breakfast and lunch diner that serves traditional healthy meals all made with fresh ingredients. They have many  locations throughout the greater Atlanta area. I’ve been there a few times, each time at a different site and haven’t had a bad meal yet. I also thought the service and atmosphere was very friendly and cozy which makes this a perfect spot for breakfast or lunch with family and friends.

Breakfast of ladies 🙂

J. Chris breakfast

Sunday afternoon Wine & Painting Party:
Later that afternoon, a bunch of Tanya’s friends showed up for a private wine and painting party in her home. Tanya had booked a local artist and friend to come over and instruct us step-by-step on how to paint a beautiful cherry blossom tree on a canvas. I thought it was pretty neat and a great way to spend the day. We sipped wine, painted and laughed while we had the Niners vs. Falcons game on in the background. It was a lot of fun and everyone’s paintings came out great.

Then we celebrated the Niners victory when the boys got home. It was an extremely joyous afternoon and evening 🙂

paintings

If you’ve never been to a wine and painting party, I would highly recommend it. You’ll be surprised with how great they come out and discover a talent you never knew you had.

Two Baby Showers in One Day

On Saturday, January 19th,  I had the pleasure of attending not one but TWO baby showers for two very special friends. One was for my best and oldest friend Kristy and the other was for two very close friends of mine and Oscar’s – Kiki and Chris.

Not only were they both being held on the same day but they were in very close distance to each other and only five minutes from where we were staying. One was earlier in the day and the other one was later in the afternoon so I could attend both. I was so happy. It couldn’t have worked out better.

Wild West Baby Shower
Kristy’s baby shower was held in Woodstock at her cousin, Amber’s house who also hosted the shower along with another friend.  They laid out a fabulous brunch spread with homemade French Toast Casserole, spinach quiche and sausage biscuits along with Mimosas and blue punch. And I absolutely ADORED the Wild West Cowboy decor which is also the theme that Kristy chose for her nursery.

This photo below was taken from Kristy’s friend Sara’s blog called Mommy Decorates 🙂

Wild West Nursery

Kristy moved to Woodstock 10 years ago and started her career as a massage therapist,  bought a house, got married and is about to have her second child. Her first-born Maya, is two years old and is an absolute doll!  I was so impressed with how Maya was there to help her Mom open up all her gifts and put away the wrapping paper and the trash. She was an excellent little helper.

Baby Mason Shower

Kristy and I met in the 4th grade when our classes were right next to each other. We used to talk and pass notes to each other and to our so-called “4th grade boyfriends” through this little space in between the book shelves that divided up our classrooms. We became fast friends and have been very close ever since. I was so thrilled to attend her baby shower, meet her Atlanta friends and see her family.

“Alice in Wonderland” Baby Shower
After Kristy’s baby shower in the morning, we went over to Kiki & Chris Steinmann’s co-ed baby shower which was held in the late afternoon at the Cauble Beach House in Lake Acworth. It’s a beautiful  place that overlooks Lake Allatoona.  The theme for their shower was “Alice in Wonderland” since they are having a girl. I loved all of the decorations and the quotes that were displayed around the tables from the popular Disney movie. We chatted with our friends, ate delicious food, watched them open gifts and played games. Oscar won the “Guess the Belly Size” game and got a Starbucks gift card. We also tried to help them pick out a name!!

Kiki Chris baby shower

The Vortex – Peanut Butter, Bacon and Fried Banana Burger

Last weekend Oscar and I  flew to Atlanta and stayed with our friends Todd and Tanya who live in Woodstock. While we were there we also went to a couple of baby showers, visited with other friends who also live in the same area, stuffed our faces with good food and watched the Niners beat the Falcons in the NFC Championship game!! Woop woop!!

The weather was brisk and cold so I got to wear my scarves, coat and boots and drink hot chocolate. It was the perfect weekend for festive activities, fantastic food and just being with good company.

Friday Night – The Vortex:
Our first night in Atlanta was spent meeting up with friends at the  The Vortex in Little Five Points for some late night beer and burgers.

Vortex Collage

And guess what I had??!! I ordered the Fat Elvis Burger which came with peanut butter, bacon and fried banana. (Hey, you only live once right?) Let me tell you it was a “Hunka Hunka Oh my god!!” I washed it down with a beer called The Cobbler which is a combo of Banana Bread Beer and Apple Cider Beer by Angry Orchard – a most excellent combination.

elvis burger vortexMy boyfriend, Oscar had the Cowboy Burger (below) which c0mes with fried jamon (ham), pepper jack cheese, a fried egg and spicy honey bbq sauce. I took a bite and thought it was extremely tasty. Some of the other burgers I thought deserve an honorable mention are: the Triple Bypass, Spanish Fly and the Holy Guacamole Burger.

cowboy burger

If you’ve never been to The Vortex, I would highly recommend it.  It’s a great spot with a cool atmosphere and the burgers are unique, juicy and delicious! Just a warning though – they don’t give a $%^& about large groups. We showed up at 9:30 with a group of 14 and they didn’t seat us till 11pm!! But it was well worth the wait 🙂