Mushroom & Broccolini Stir-Fry Noodles

 We’ve been trying to be more intentional with healthy eating lately. Xavier and I have always tried to have a balance when it comes to food and having it be nutritious and healthy and at the same time, have days where we are allowed to indulge a little in guilty pleasures. About 1 week now, Xavier and I had a mutual understanding of where we wanted to head when it came to meats. We both found that meat wasn’t really appetizing to us and we figured we’d try to go as #meatless as possible. Its been challenging when it comes to figuring out our meals and making sure we are getting the right amount of nutrition. Making balanced vegetarian meals for two hispanic people can be a challenge, but its been a success thus far! We are enjoying trying new things being creative and researching the whole process. We won’t say we are 100% vegetarian just yet, but were giving it a try. Our bodies and minds have felt a difference already. For now we are sharing one of our favorite meals so far!

Mushroom & Broccolini Stir-Fry Noodles for the win!  Super easy, delicious and nutritious.. 

Ingredients: 4 serving

Noodle Mixture

  • button mushrooms (or whichever you prefer)
  • 2 bunches of broccolini (thick ends cut off)
  • 6 stalks of kale (cut into shreds)
  • 1 large onion (sliced thick)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • whole wheat noodles ( we used organic whole wheat linguine)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to liking
  • sriracha teriyaki sauce (we used stonewall kitchen brand, found in our local fresh market)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

Mushroom Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tables spoons of honey
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove

Directions:

  1. In a small cup combine all the ingredients for the mushroom glaze.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees
  3. In a separate bowl combine your mushrooms with the mushroom glaze and coat evenly.  (make sure to clean your mushrooms with a wet paper towel to avoid a “dirt” taste, I don’t recommend soaking them in water, as mushrooms tend to be little sponges. This helps avoid a really wet soggy mushroom)
  4. Place the coated mushroom in the oven to roast for 15 mins. (remove when done to avoid burning)
  5. While the mushroom roast, place noodles to cook in separate pot with a tablespoon of olive oil, until noodles are ‘al dente’image
  6. In a separate pan, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic the 1 onion and salt and pepper to liking and sauté for 2 mins.image
  7. After 2 mins, place broccolini and kale into pan with onions and garlic until veggies are bright green and cooked to your liking. (we like ours somewhere in between soft with a little bit of crunch still) image
  8. When noodles are done, place them into your veggie mix and add your 2 tablespoons of honey along with your sriracha teriyaki sauce. (I usually eyeball it and make it to our liking, remember the sauce has a spicy kick to it!)image
  9. Let your noodles and veggies mix well and marinate in your sauce until completely coated.image
  10. Plate your delicious stir-fry veggie and noodle mixture and top with your glazed mushrooms! Enjoy!

    imageWe hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! Let us know what your favorite #meatless dishes are?! We’d Love some new ideas!

-Jen

EASY & TASTY MAHI & POTATO DINNER

With busy 12 hour nursing shifts, easy, tasty and quick dinners are our favorite! Today was a day off but definitely cooked up a lovely dinner that was quick and easy enough to do on a day coming home from work. Going into work at 7 in the morning and leaving work 730pm the earliest while driving for another 25mins home doesn’t usually leave us with enough time to get home and cook a gourmet meal, but we have managed. Today, I had a sweet day off and I made it a point to cook a nice healthy and balanced meal. I usually start missing a nice home hearty meal, so today I had to satisfy that craving. Like I said, quick and easy is our friend most days, so I think naturally I’m getting into the habit of quick and easy meals even on days off. Todays menu consisted of: Pan seared lemon pepper Mahi Mahi topped with a mango Salsa and oven roasted potatoes and carrots. Sounds fancy right?? lol. I must admit it wasn’t rocket science! I usually like to experiment with meals or simply just reminisce on previous flavors I have tried in the past and try to make my version of them at home, it works for me. So If you’re anything like us with busy schedules, little time and simply want a fancy sounding dish without the complicated ingredients and instructions..I think this dish is for you! I hope you try it and love it as much as we do! It’s now become a favorite! Bona petite!

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

– 4 Mahi Mahi Fillets (or any fish to your liking)

– 3/4 of a cup of chopped cilantro (for both potatoes and mango salsa)

– 1/2 cup of baby carrots (cut in half)

– 1/2 lb of honey gold potatoes (cut in 1/4)

– 1 medium sliced onion (1/4 for mango salsa, the rest for the potatoes)

-1 mango ripened, chopped in small dices

– 2 limes

– 3/4 of medium-sized tomato chopped in small dices

– olive oil

– lemon pepper season (1 tbs)

– sea salt and pepper to liking

Instructions:

Pre heat oven to 450, in a bowl or baking pan ( I mixed my ingredients in the same baking pan) mix in potatoes sliced in halves along with baby carrots also sliced in halves, 3/4 of the sliced onion, half of your chopped cilantro, sea salt and pepper to liking, along with a tablespoon of olive oil and mix together until all your ingredients are well coated with the olive oil. Place in oven for 25 mins, or until potatoes are soft.

While your potatoes and carrots are cooking, time to make the Mango Salsa. In a small bowl, combine together 1/4 of the onions.. chopped up small and thin, the rest of your cilantro, 3/4 of your small diced tomatoes, entire mango diced small and the lime juice of one full lime. Let sit in the refrigerator to keep cool.

Meanwhile, gather your cleaned Mahi Mahi fillets. Pre heat a non-stick pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, and the juice of one full lime along with a teaspoon of the lemon pepper seasoning, when pan is warm enough, place your fillets of Mahi in pan and on the side up season with sea salt to your liking along with lemon pepper seasoning. Place lid on pan and let Fillets cook throughly for about 5 mins on low-medium heat. Once Fillets are cooking and color is changing, open lid slightly and turn up the heat to medium-high heat until Fillets start turning a golden crispy color. Once one side has achieved the golden color, do the same to other side. Once this is done your fish is complete!

Once  your potatoes and fish are done, its time to plate your yummy food and eat!! Hope you enjoy! Like our recipe? We would love to hear how your version turned out!

-Jen ❤

*All images are property of LaVida, life as it comes..

EATING IN THE BIG APPLE

FullSizeRenderEating through the Big Apple was simply an adventure! I’ve been meaning to brag…I mean, BLOG (lol) about the many places we ate on our trip to New York City.  We talked about how excited we were to be going to NYC in our countdown post. I just haven’t had time or at least made time to share it with you all! The excitement of our engagement has taken over me, lol.  That moment also excitedly happened while we were there! Well I’m finally ready to take a breather and share with you all our lovely experiences. There are just endless amounts of restaurants in the city itself, its lovely! From ‘Big known’ restaurants to ‘little hole in the wall’ places and just your average ‘everyday chain’  restaurants. None the less, food is… well food and food is yummy!! Lets just say that our bellies were extremely happy while we were there. I’m really excited to share all the places we had a chance to visit on our stay, they were all so delightful in their own ways. (well minus one, that i will mention and why it might have been a bad timing)

Before we got to New York, we made sure to do our homework, we searched many restaurants and asked some friends that knew of places in New York, we even had some fellow bloggers recommend some great restaurants. We tried to not only go to some well-known restaurants but also restaurants that fellow New Yorker’s enjoy on an average day. Well.. sit back and grab  cup of coffee and a note pad and be ready to jot down some of these lovely places. You never know when you’ll be making an unexpected trip to the Big Apple and I’m sure it’ll come in handy, lol. I will literally take you on our food journey, day by day. We had quite the adventure and the best part was that my honey and I were together and we did it on a budget! It was a great success! I’ll give you some pointers on how we managed to stay in our ‘food budget’ and later on another post how to tour the city on a budget as well!

Enjoy!

{ARRIVAL DAY}

When we arrived in New York, it was about 5pm.. By the time we got a cab from La Guardia Airport to West of midtown where we stayed, and got settled in to our hotel, we needed a boost!  We decided to go to a very well-known place and do what fellow New yorkers’ are best at.. Night life! So we headed out for our first stop. TAO restaurant. This place was pretty amazing. It definitely had a ‘loungy’ feel to it. We embraced our long day of waiting for our delayed flight and celebrated that we had made it to the city, FINALLY! this called for Celebratory drinks and appetizers.

I enjoyed a TAO-tini, which was delicious, I didn’t want it to finish! Xavier had some cold sake and according to him, it was good! Since we knew we had late dinner reservations that night, we opted out on dinner servings and had some appetizers which were also pretty amazing! (TIP: This btw, is a great way to get a taste for the food without spending $45 dollars per plate!)

Our second stop for the night was Bar Americain, a Bobby Flay restaurant. The ambiance was subtle and relaxed. And the food was delicious. After a long day of luggage, lines and waiting we wanted to make sure we went to bed with full bellies, we deserved it! So we did… very much worth the indulgence!

{DAY TWO}

Upon waking up we grabbed a cup of coffee for the road..well the subway, lol and headed out towards the lower east side of Manhattan. There we went to Clinton St. Baking Co. Can you say uh.. pancakes?!! They’re their best sellers and I got to taste why! Delicious. Word of advice here, it’s a well-known little place, so get there early! It’s a tiny little place and its known not only by the locals but more and more visitors are taking a trip to try their delicious brunches! We waited an hour! Thank goodness for the little park we found a couple blocks away from there. (TIP: Brunches are a great way to stay on budget, breakfast and lunch for the price of one!)  We were so full, it held us till later on for dinner!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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The next two places i must mention we went to right after Xavier proposed on the Brooklyn bridge! Hence, you’ll find these two cute little places in Brooklyn. These we found out through another lovely blogger from NYC, and her New York City guides, loveTaza.com. Thank you because they were delicious! No fancy dinners for us after proposal, just some lemonade and pizza! Perfection!

Lizzmonade concession stand under the Brooklyn bridge pier 1. We had the mint pineapple lemonade and it was AMAZING! they’re the cutest little concession stand, yet making lemonades with a bold statement! A must try for sure!

Our romantic proposal called for a romantic dinner…. PIZZA!! Juliana’s Pizza! Lets just say… one of The Best Pizza’s Xavier and I have had. We sat at their little bar in the back and had front row seats for the pizza making! Fresh ingredients everywhere! The staff and owner walk around and made us feel very welcomed!1414703348.746919.68

We couldn’t leave Brooklyn without dessert, so like any normal person would do on a very windy cold night, we had ice cream! A little taste of some very delicious butter pecan ice-cream was eaten that night right under the Brooklyn Bridge at the Brooklyn Bridge Ice-cream factoryProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

{DAY THREE}

Day three called for another great brunch at Friedman’s Lunch, this time in Chelsea. (This is another place you want to be early to) Don’t let the name fool you though, they have a great breakfast and brunch menu. And for all my Gluten free people, one of the biggest gluten-free menus I have seen. If you want a taste of some good comfort food, this is a good stop! Xavier tore away at the fried chicken and waffles!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Since our day was dedicated to Chelsea, we made our way towards the Hudson river to Pier 66. There we stopped for some late afternoon drinks at The Frying Pan. A historic lightship that is permanently docked at pier 66. Next to the Frying Pan is Maritime Bar and grill a railroad barge also permanently docked there. The view is breathtaking and the experience is unique, especially for us folks not from nyc. It’s apparently a hip spot in Chelsea and I could see why.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Our next stop in Chelsea, was probably one of my favorite places we stopped to eat at. Right in the middle of the meatpacking district you can find Fig & Olive. This lovely place was actually recommended by a fellow blogger and friend, Teresa, over at aleandtere.com. Thank you Tere because we were a very happy couple that afternoon. The restaurant is beautiful, the service is amazing, and the food is to die for. Simply Delicious.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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{DAY FOUR}

We lined up for another brunch in Midtown West at 44 &X Hell’s Kitchen. The food here is simple, but good itself. And if you’re in NYC, why not go to Hell’s kitchen?? umm, I think, yes!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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Ok so after getting some Chipotle in the afternoon and after much walking, we had searched for a bakery in the city that according to many was very delicious and known. Well that night we made it to Magnolia Bakery. While the bakery itself was super cute and decorated so wonderfully, our experience was quite the opposite. In their defense we made it to the bakery very late at night. The cupcakes we got there were super dry and the frosting was as stiff as a rock. At this point, we kinda wish we hadn’t found the bakery, lol. We told this to some people after returning home, and they were quite shocked.. so maybe we just went at the wrong time?

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{DAY FIVE & OUR DEPARTURE}

This morning we just got some good Starbucks and headed to the city, there we ran into this little hole in the wall. A place called Dough, originally based in Brooklyn but now found in the city near 5th ave and 19th st. umm.. heaven. The most fluffy donuts we have had our hands on. A must try!! They have a great selection too! We were so happy to have run into this place.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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After some walking and ending up in the Flatiron district, we made our way to Eataly! Well, because we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. So on we went to the rooftop of Eataly, a little Italian Market too cute and amazing to pass up, and landed at Birreria restaurant and brewery. The wine and cheese selections are war to good to pass up! trust me on this one.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Oh and you can’t go to New York and not get shake shack and head on over to central park and eat on the great lawn right?? well don’t worry we made we did! And after some good shake shack we needed an unforgettable send off back home to Florida…Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

So what better way than with the biggest, most soft and delicious cookies…um ever??! Enter, Levain Bakery! This place is found on the upper west side of Manhattan, a few blocks away from the American Museum of Natural history. TO DIE FOR! They were so good, we had to stop and sit on some New York style steps like in the movies lol to eat them! It was so big that I saved the other half for my flight! This place is definitely known by the locals.. super small, in the ground, at the corner of the block next to a little school. Lets just say I ordered what the little kids (and moms, lol) were ordering! Please please pay them a visit if you’re ever in the city!

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 I hope that this journey wasn’t too long for you all, I wanted to make sure I took you through our eating adventure in the Big apple! What better city than New York to not be on a diet!? There can’t be such thing when visiting NYC. No way Jose! May I add, that our experiences were all so great and we would do it all over again if we didn’t have to gain some extra pounds?? lol. I hope this little guide helps anyone whose paying New York a visit. I also hope that it makes you feel like a local and not your typical tourist in all the touristy dining places. New York for us was amazing this time around that we stuck to mostly experiencing local places and not your typical restaurants!  Enjoy and Bon appetit!

With all the love in my belly from NY,

Jen ❤
*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes 

 

OUR HEALTHY CHALLENGE UPDATE

blog10We finally have an update for you all on our fitness/healthy challenge! In the beginning of August we shared with you all that our lifestyle was slacking a bit in regards to being healthy and challenging our bodies to be better and healthy for us! Well, I think we are happy to share with you all that we have pretty much stuck to our goals. We are so very proud of ourselves that we have been working towards a better us, a better lifestyle and healthier choices. In August, we shared with you all a handful of specific goals Here to get us started on our journey.

Since then, we definitely have been trying to meet all of them on our list to our best capabilities. We have been very successful at cooking more at home and eating out less. Eating out lately has been more of a treat for us from time to time, rather than an everyday thing. It really has been better, not only for our health but also financially and for our relationship. We get to work together more often in the kitchen and do things together. One of our most exciting things now come dinner time is to GRILL! Yes! we bought a grill and it was so exciting for us lol. We grill just about anything we can find and can go in our lovely grill! The food taste so much better and we get more excited to eat at home. Plus, it makes food so much healthier! Goals one and two of eating cleaner and eating in more are getting checked off the list for sure!

Goals; three, four and five were more for us outside of our home and they all have been just as successful. Some are more limiting at times, like including more outdoor activities into our schedule. But for the most part, the chances we have had, we have taken the opportunities to do so ( like our kayaking adventures mentioned here and here.) Going to the gym was also a main priority for us, especially since it had been such a big part of who we were before we started slacking. We have been very good in keeping up with the gym for sure. After work we make it a priority to make it to cross-fit at 8pm, which is the last class. At the beginning it was definitely challenging, taking into consideration we are so tired from our 12 hour shifts. But we fought through it and now it’s a lot easier to actually make it to class.

All in all, I am proud of our efforts in sticking to our challenge. October is right around the corner, which was our original beginning goal, and I am certain we will have our goals met. We are on the right path and its keeping us motivated. This challenge was not to be hard-core organic or hardcore body builders. But it was most certainly to be more healthier and to get us out of falling into a sedentary lifestyle. We feel healthier, our clothes are fitting us better and we are seeing the results. It feels great! ..Don’t get me wrong, due to our jobs inconsistent schedules, we at times run late and don’t make it to our workouts, but we make sure to go another day in the week. We also treat ourselves to some good comfort foods from time to time and enjoy a good dessert! We just don’t do it as often! Or.. we make up for it in another way by cutting some other foods out.

Our Fitness/Healthy challenge has been a journey for sure, but a journey we are making sure stays in our lives until we can’t anymore. We are loving the idea of creating new foods, or at least trying new foods and incorporating them into our daily menus. We feel better, we are getting results, and we are still motivated to keep going. That’s really all I could wish for or even ask for in order for us to keep going. We will keep updating you all from time to time on our healthy challenges! Again, any questions and or suggestions are always welcome! Motivation from others is always helpful!

Thanks for the support always!

❤ Jen and X.

Below are some our favorite dishes lately, whether we created or re-created and our new grill and cross-fit gym! (p.s Im not a cross fit junky lol) Enjoy!

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My handsome, his Tshirt and our grill! lol

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PIZZA NIGHTS IN!

pizza9Sometimes, we all just need a Night in! In this household, we have many ‘nights in,’ and that is quite okay with us! This past weekend, I was out-of-town for a Disney getaway with some of my closest friends and the kiddos ( My kiddo, was my little sister Sofia, lol) and to celebrate our friends birthday. We had so much fun and can’t wait to share with you all that adventure soon enough! Needless to say, while it was a fun weekend.. it was also very tiring! Disney is not all fun and games people! It’s hours of walking, the killer heat or RAIN!- of Florida (yes, even is September the sun melts us away!) Standing in lines for a while, while the sun is melting you away, oh and did I mention A LOT of walking in the sun!? lol I think you guys get my point.

So today, I caught up on some much needed sleep, ran some errands. And after a quick gym session the last thing we wanted to do was cook a four coarse meal nor get dressed to go out! So we called it a night in! And a night in calls for some good ol’ comfort food that’s quick and easy! Thank goodness for some great publix (our grocery store) finds tonight!  We get so excited when we know we can add a healthier twist to some of our favorite comfort foods! Especially since starting our healthy challenge. We really don’t know exactly how many calories are in each slice, nor do I know how much healthier this turkey pepperoni is for xavier, nor how much healthier this version of pizza is. But what really matters at this point is that we tried! lol

Tonight’s menu read: PIZZA a la Jen and X. One pizza, two ways. When we went to our grocery store, we found something that was very appealing to our eyes and our bellies! Boboli Whole Wheat Pizza Dough!pizza1 It’s already semi-pre cooked and makes it so easy to just add your favorite toppings! We went light on some traditional pizza sauce, some 2% mozzarella light cheese and tried to choose some healthier toppings! For Xavier that included some turkey pepperoni with some thinly sliced onions. I tried to keep it a little lighter and went for some tomatoes, mint leaves, cilantro and thinly sliced onions too. After assembling our master piece, in it went into the oven for just 8-9 minutes and WALA! Dinner was served, along with a glass of red wine for Xavier and a glass of some light Sangria for me.

Our night in turned out to be just what we needed! Some yummy food, pleasant drinks, our feet up on the couch and some much needed relaxation.. You can’t beat that!  What are your favorite Pizza toppings?? Do you all have your favorite easy and quick healthy recipes too? We would love to hear all about them! Xavier and I appreciate some good food whenever presented to us! Hope you all had a great Monday!

Jen ❤

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pizza8pizza7pizza6Cheers to Yummy foods in our bellies! =)