Friday, August 29, 2014

Weightloss Journey

Welcome back!!!


So much has changed but we are going to start with the most exciting part first, I am down 16 lbs!!!  This all started back in May, when I decided that sitting around loving food has been fun but it was time for a change. This is my journey back to being healthy, eating right & exercising. Back in 2008, before this blog ever started. I got sick & landed in the hospital for 3 days. When it was over, they had idea what had caused me to be so sick. But I knew it was something I had eaten. And I was determined to figure it out. So, I did the only thing I knew to do, which was cut out tons of food & start over. Unfortunately, I limited myself to the point that I got down to 100 lbs, stepped on the scale & freak out because I was afraid I was spiraling into an eating disorder.  That's when this blog began. So, I feel it is only fitting to stick with tradition & re-design this blog to support my journey back to a healthy 100lbs with lots of muscle, hopefully.  

How am I doing it?? I am counting my macro nutrients, 40% Carbs, 30% Fats & Proteins. And I am aiming to eat about 1400 calories a day (I don't usually hit that much). I am also drinking 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water & working out 4-5 days a week with 20-30 mins cardio (aiming to burn 250-300 calories) & 30 mins weight lifting. I constantly change up my routine to keep my body challenged & it all seems to be working for me. I also have a great inspirational system that makes up several IFBB pros & a Figure Olympia 3x Champion. I have had to completely change my lifestyle but it's been for the better & I am so much happier. 




What's next? I am Gluten Free now & loving it!  I made the switch about a year and a half ago, to see how I would feel & haven't gone back.  I feel more energized, I can think more clearly, no more gluten headaches, etc. So from here on out, I will be posting Gluten Free recipes that are healthy & delicious.  Now please don't get me wrong I make sandwiches with GF bread & eat GF pasta but I don't feel terrible afterwards, like I did before. And this is not for everyone, I understand that. But it works for me.  I have included an link, if you would like to learn more about Gluten Sensitivity

I am so excited to be back & hopefully the healthy recipes I have in store for you will be an inspiration in the kitchen & the gym!!!

Health, Love & Happiness,  
Angie





Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cooper Street 20/20

Cooper Street 20/20 is a prepared foods establishment that's located right in the heart of Midtown.  Owner Kathy Katz, veteran restaurateur at the Southern College of Optometry, opened this place with one thing in mind, to create fresh prepared foods to make all of our lives a little easier.  And that she has done.  She is creating fresh homemade Soups, Entrees & Sides.  It's like a Super Suppers for Locavores.  She is open for business Monday - Friday 8a-7p.  And on Saturday's she can be found at Tsunami Farmers Market. 

We grabbed up her Pimento Cheese (made with Roasted Red Peppers), Italian Spinach, Potato Soup & Chicken Roulade.  All of which are loaded with flavor & we couldn't get enough of.  For her full menu, click here.


Chicken Roulade
A juicy tender chicken breast, wrapped around mozzarella cheese, spinach & mushrooms with a delicate sauce, made up of white wine, chicken stock & lemon zest.  This dish goes to show what skilled hands & a passion for food can easily produce. 
 
We can not wait to try more of her fantastic eats!!


Cooper Street 20/20 on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ciao Bella - Memphis, TN

Ciao Bella, has quickly become our go to for everything Italian. They are Project Green Fork, certified and using local ingredients from our local farms, which makes all the difference, as you well know.  In the past, we tend to find a quiet corner in the bar & settle in for an evening.  But this time we decided to get the full dining experience, which only made us fall more in love.    

Executive Chef, Jonathan Steenerson, has been in the kitchen since he was 14 yrs old.  Learning from his father & grandfather. He has even had the honor of cooking for Paula Deen & her husband. And we (hubby & I) were honored to have him cook for us.  We gave him free reign to bring out whatever he wanted.  No menus ever touch our hands.  So, everything that came out, was a complete surprise (and Chef came out, each time to explain each dish) & it was all beyond our greatest expectations.  He brought out things that we might not have even thought about ordering but they were all things he loves to create (and eat) & that's what made this evening so special.  Let the food begin!! 


Octopus Carpacio

Thinly sliced bed of Octopus, topped with salty/vinegar combination from the capers, this dish is light but packed with buttery lemon goodness.  



Chopped Salad

Fresh romaine lettuce, basil, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions,  kalamata olives, mozzarella (just to name a few) & then lightly tossed in house champagne vinaigrette...this is the way salad should be.  You get a mouth of flavors in every bite...hmmm, so good. 


Kobe Beef Brisket Gnocchi

Even as a (recent) vegetation, I tossed it all out for this & I can say it was all worth it.  This is a classic steak & potatoes taking to the next level.  Slow-braised beef brisket, sitting on top of parmesan gnocchi topped with fresh basil & pine nuts.


Old World Chicken Carbonara

Homemade bucatini pasta (which is twice as thick as a regular spaghetti & absolutely cooked to perfection), salty pancetta, fresh basil all tossed in a this luscious cream sauce & topped with a soft fried egg.  The thrill I got from poking that yoke & then stirring it onto the dish, is like the rush you get from riding a roller coaster & going upside down...yep, it's that good. 


Chicken Skewers with Orzo & Spanakopita

Chicken Skewers, breaded & fried, almost like a southern fried chicken, sitting on top of tangy orzo pasta & adorned with the best homemade Spanakopita, in town.   



Watermelon Gelato

Watermelon, a summer favorite, turned into this creamy dessert that just melts in your mouth.   You can't feel guilty eating this for dessert, it's fruit!!  We could even taste the rind, it was that fresh. 



Ciao Bella Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Arugula & Tomato Pasta


I made this the other night because I wanted something that exhibited bright, Summer-like doses of full flavor.  Well, this hit the spot.  Fresh heirloom tomatoes, that are sweet & give this dish a hearty feeling.  The beautiful arugula that becomes milder in flavor, when cooked & wraps the pasta in gorgeous green colors, while maintaining it's classic spicy peppery flavor.  Then you bring in the lemony garlic olive oil, which coats the pasta & brings it to life.  And the heat from the cayenne, really rounds it off.  There's no better way to celebrate the great foods that can be found in any garden.  

Ingredients
8 oz Ziti pasta
1 tablespoon kosher salt (to season pasta water)
2 medium heirloom tomatoes (1 yellow & 1 red), diced 
2 cups Arugula
1/4 - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pasta water
1/2 organic lemon juiced & zested
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil, garnish
season to taste with salt, pepper & cayenne

In a 5 qt dutch oven or pasta pot, filled up halfway with water, bring to a boil & add 1 tablespoon salt.  Add pasta & I always add a little olive oil to the water, too.  Cook according to package directions.  Meanwhile prepare your sauce.  In a bowl, add 3 tablespoons pasta water (remove while pasta is cooking), stir in olive oil, lemon juice & zest, garlic, season to taste with salt, pepper & cayenne.  Set aside.  Drain pasta  & return it to the pot, on the stove (burner should be off).  Toss in arugula & the heat from the pasta will cook it down.  Add lemony-garlic sauce, tomatoes & finally your parmesan cheese.  Garnish with fresh basil, walnuts & a sprinkle of parmesan, season to taste.  Serve & enjoy!!!   

Makes about 3-4 servings 
(could be more like 4 if you serve it with a salad) 


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Otherlands Coffee Bar- Memphis, TN

Congratulations to The Otherlands Coffee Bar for being the Action News 5 Andy Wise, Project Green Fork Restaurant of the Month!!!!  My husband & I had the pleasure of visiting them for the first time.  You can cozy up at a table or on a comfy couch, which makes you feel right at home.  Add some warm lighting, local artwork and it's the perfect place to relax in an eclectic atmosphere.  And did I mention that our entire meal with less than $20?  You must see what all we got for that.  I bet you won't find a better deal, anywhere in Memphis & they are PGF certified!!!


Lox with Bagel & Cream Cheese 

This actually brought me back to the good ole days, Sunday Brunch at The Ridgeway Inn.  No one has been able to duplicate that, until now.  The smoky salmon, on a toasted onion H&H Bagel (New York's famous H&H will ship to your home), with their house made, fluffy cheddar & olive cream cheese, served with a side of capers & a tomato...it was heaven on a plate. 

Breakfast Burrito

Savory eggs, lightly seasoned potatoes with cheese & all wrapped up on a warm tortilla. Then served alongside a tangy salsa, oh yeah!!!  You could opt for Turkey Sausage for those meat lovers.  

Chips & Hummus

We love the fact that none of the items we picked, came with a side item.  It gave us the freedom to pick something we both love & could share!!!  Other options include, spicy cheese grits, scoop of pimento cheese/egg salad & best cinnamon toast in the south (that's what they call it).  Can't wait to try them all.

Any questions?

For more information, please visit them on Urbanspoon. 

Otherlands Coffee Bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Russo's New York Pizzeria - Memphis, TN

Russo's New York Pizzeria is not your ordinary pizzeria, they provide traditional Northern and Southern Italian favorites but they also feature classic New York style pizzas.  Plus, their menu options include gluten free pizza's, pastas, organic items & local produce from our farmers markets. They are a very ingredient oriented establishment, with an entire menu page, dedicated to explaining all about the type of ingredients that go into their classic Italian dishes.  On a side note, they could be a great candidate for becoming Project Green Fork certified.  Which you all know is huge, right now, in Memphis & will be for years to come!!  

Spinach & Artichoke Dip
This dip comes together with a creamy roasted garlic Alfredo, served with 
toasted Foccacia bread, lightly sprinkled with parmesan cheese

Prosciutto Wrapped Buffalo Mozzarella 
Like a crazy Caprese Salad, with it's creamy Buffalo mozzarella, wrapped in basil & grilled crispy prosciutto & resting on a bed a crunchy romaine (this dish received top billing from everyone at the table, a must try)

Ravioli Pomodoro
These gorgeous pillows are filled with savory cheeses, then topped with a delightfully chunky & hearty pomodoro sauce

Chicken Portabella Pizzotto
This unique dish, it's the offspring of a quesadilla & a pizza.  A pizza crust on top & on bottom stuffed with meaty Portabella mushroom, chicken, creamy mozzarella cheese & spinach.  Might I suggest serving it with a side of marinara for dipping?  Oh yeah baby!!!
Speaking of offspring, meet Caleigh (ain't she precious?!).  She found out that a knife is not only good for cutting your food but also helps soothe when those pesky teeth are starting to come in.  I promise she was using the dull end of that knife & being supervised the entire time.  Too funny not to share...  


Thank you to entire staff for your stellar service & tasty cuisine.  Especially to the owner, Brett, who ensured our dining experience, surpassed our greatest expectations.  We had a great time & will definitively be returning.  


Russo's New York Pizzeria and Wine Bar  on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Coconut Curry



Looking for an easy weeknight meal that's packed with tons of great flavor?  Well, look no further you just found it!  Would you believe that this meal only takes about 30 mins to whip up?  You could even add some shredded chicken to this, if you wanted to.  So, this recipe came to life when I tested it the second time.  The sweet onion flavor from the leeks, raisins & the coconut milk, perfectly compliments the earthy shiitake mushrooms.  Then add in the bold flavors of the  curry powder & garam masala.  And finally, I added just the right amount of the heat from the sriracha, which really makes this dish one that I know you will love!!  It's not overly spicy just a nice balance.  As I am trying to find the balance between my day job & cooking great meals, we are finding more & more ways to cook up quick & easy meals like this one, so I can't wait to hear what you think.    

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, sliced & soaked in bowl of water to remove dirt
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
6-8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup raisins (golden or Thompson)
1 1/2 tsp maharajah curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
8 oz organic coconut milk
1 tsp sriracha
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
zest of 1/2 lime
season to taste with salt & pepper
garnish with cilantro 

In a skillet, over medium high heat, add butter & oil.  Stir in leeks, season lightly with salt & cook til tender.  Add garlic, ginger & shiitake mushrooms, season lightly again.  As the mushrooms begin to cook down, add raisins, curry powder, garam masala & coconut milk, stir til everything is incorporated.  Stir in sriracha, a little broth if you prefer a thinner sauce (optional), the lime zest, finally seasoning of salt & pepper.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serve of rice or egg noodles.  

Makes 3-4 servings







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