Holiday Meals

Christmas Eve was nearing and my family still had not decided on what meal we would make to celebrate the holiday. In fact, nobody seemed to care as much as me. I like to mark holidays with mouthwatering meals. It was a typical week where we run to various stores and ultimately scan the Whole Foods flyer. Luckily for us, there were many items going on sale the night before Christmas Eve for procrastinators like us ;-) 

We had just gotten off a few weeks of holiday/dinner parties which meant that we had overindulged in appetizers, sweets, and alcohol. We had also consumed more meat than usual. By the time Christmas Eve rolled around, we all wanted something light and healthy yet packed with flavor. In the end, we opted for purchasing and sautéing wild caught Gulf shrimp, organic mushrooms, organic onions and organic garlic in organic coconut oil and seasoned with fresh lemon, black pepper, and dill. We also boiled fresh sugar snap peas as a side. The meal was exquisite and in the end ticked all of our culinary boxes. 

While last minute preparations don´t work for everyone, it can be done. If you´re not preparing a large meal for a group of people, finding the right foods at the right time can bring immeasurable amounts of joy and satiation. Cheers!

New Year, New You! Out with the Old and in with the Zen.

Want to be a healthier you in 2017?! Like some, 2016 may have been a difficult year. Did you overindulge during the holidays; too many sweets, snacks, and drinks?

The good news is 2016 is over and 2017 is a clean slate! If the thought of eating healthier and exercising feels overwhelming, start slowly. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for fresh and real food. Start a workout regimen that is within reach and something that you enjoy. The key to success is determination and overall enjoyment.

Here are some Zen Eating for holistic health and wellness tips:

  • purchase fresh real foods you enjoy
  • be creative, experiment with cooking foods in a number of ways
  • limit the amount of times you eat out
  • find an exercise activity you enjoy or be open to trying something new
  • create a schedule where you can exercise three times a week, even if only for 30 minutes at a time
  • be open to change, this is how we grow as individuals

While this is just a short list of suggestions, please visit Zen Eating for more detailed information.

Happy New Year! Happy New You!

Upscale Authentic Mexican Cuisine in the Heart of Waltham

I recently took my family to Amuleto Mexican Table in Waltham, MA. My husband wanted to have authentic Mexican food for his celebratory birthday meal, particularly a heavenly mole sauce. Finding authentic Mexican food can be hard to find in the area and especially on the East Coast; nonetheless, Amuleto Mexican Table proved to be a perfect place for authentic cuisine with a modern twist. 

We started our meal with fresh daily made corn tortilla chips and roasted salsa fresca. The salsa was absolutely divine, the spices were were so intertwined yet bursting with flavor. We then moved on to our main dishes. We feasted on pollo en mole poblano and camarones a la diabla. The meals were exquisite, especially the pollo en mole poblano. While we were still a bit hungry and entranced with the layers of flavor, we thought we would try the taco tinga. The taco tinga was stunning! I have never had a taco, yet a chicken taco so creamy and delicious. The chicken fell apart in our mouths, and the avocado and crema la fresca were brilliant toppings. Needless to say, we left the restaurant extremely full and utterly satisfied. My only regret is forgetting to take pictures of the dishes before they were almost completely devoured...  

If you´re looking for heavenly, layers of flavor, authentic Mexican food with a modern twist, Amuleto Mexican Table is your go to spot. I would highly recommend this restaurant and give it a four and a half Om star rating. Last parting advice, do NOT overlook the tacos, they are AMAZING!!

Making Sushi at Home

In the mood for sushi? Don´t want to spend money eating out? Worried about fake, mislabeled fish sold in US sushi restaurants? I know, making sushi sounds daunting and even impossible for some. The good news is that the preparation is not arduous and the end result is mouth watering :-) 

At home, my husband likes to make cucumber, avocado, shrimp tempura, and at times lobster sushi. Living on the East Coast, we are spoiled with fresh lobster. The sushi I have at home is better than most of the restaurants in the area and made with quality products that are REAL!!

If you´re interested in making sushi, you will need the following (products will vary based on buying options and preferences):

  • 365 sushi rice (2 cups rice, 3 1/2 water in rice cooker)
  • organic rice vinegar (1/4 cup)
  • organic cane sugar (2 tbsp)
  • sea salt (pinch)
  • organic pacific sushi nori seaweed wraps
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • Whole Foods tempura shrimp
  • lobster
  • organic grated ginger
  • organic soy sauce
  • sushi sonic real wasabi
  • a good set of hands for rolling and lots of love <3

Enjoy and happy rolling!

Dining at India Quality in Kenmore Square

When my family is in the mood for rich North Indian cuisine at a reasonable price, we head to India Quality. The restaurant never disappoints! The restaurant is small, cozy, and family friendly. My personal favorite dishes are chicken tikka masala and vegetable biryani with sides of samosas and nan. Every now and then we change it up and order something different. For example, the last time we ordered our regular dishes with an entree of shrimp curry. While I´m a sucker for chicken tikka masala, my son was quite fond of the shrimp curry (all dishes pictured above).

And if you are there with your children, you can expect complimentary mango ice cream for the kids :-)

India Quality has justifiably received many awards over the years, and I would  be remiss not to give them a four star Om rating. So, if you´re in search of rich North Indian cuisine, India Quality is your place!!

Quesadilla, anyone?

Want a delicious meal packed with protein?! Making a quesadilla is one of the easiest meals to make. Creativity goes a loooooooong way! 

At home, my family loves quesadillas. I usually alter the ingredients based on individual preferences, which is fun and exciting. A true experimental journey of the taste buds. 

If you´re looking for a boost of energy and flavor, start here:

  • non-gmo corn tortilla shells
  • organic cheddar cheese
  • monterey jack cheese
  • organic spicy black beans
  • red onion
  • white onion
  • organic cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • avocado
  • organic sour cream

Checking into Surdyk´s Flights

When traveling, I like to make the most of airports through delectable food and drink. I was pleasantly surprised to find Surdyk´s Flights Wine Market & Bar at the Minneapolis -- St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The menu offered various organic light fare options and a variety of domestic and international wine flights, we enjoyed a flight of reds that originated from Italy, Spain, and France. In addition to the wines, we ordered marinated olives, marinated chevre (pictured above), organic spring greens, and the minneapple panini. We savored every bite of the delicious yet not traditional airport food, which was worth every penny. If you are ever in the MSP Airport, I would highly recommend stopping by Surdyk´s Flights Wine Market & Bar to peruse the menu and stay for a drink and or meal, depending on time.

I give this wine market and bar a four and a half Om star rating for its offerings, quality, and for not being another unhealthy airport dining option. 

Asian Indulgence

It was a wonderful Friday when my kids had off of school and I had a dinner plans with other moms. The day started by having our annual family picture taken for Christmas gifts and cards. The appointment ended around lunch time. Perfect! My daughter had been begging me to take her out for sushi. I took advantage of the day being young and treated my daughter and son to sushi at Maluken and Sushi Express (no, it´s not fast food) in Brookline, MA. The kids and I enjoyed sushi, gyoza, miso soup, and Gyu-Don. Unfortunately or not, we were so consumed with the enjoyment of eating that we forgot to take a single picture! Needless to say, if you´re in the mood for good sushi at a reasonable price, Maluken and Sushi Express is the perfect place and is deserving of a four Om rating.

That evening I met up with other moms at Gourmet Dumpling House in Boston´s China Town. We waited for an hour in the cold to secure a table at the small restaurant. Every time the door opened, we were seduced with the smell of spices and dishes ranging from seafood, poultry, pork, and vegetables. The aromas were intoxicating. While the dumplings are probably the most popular item on the menu and rightfully so, the entrees looked fantastic. I can only speak for the deliciousness of my entree, which was the spicy salt and pepper shrimp. Nonetheless, all of the other guests were pleased with their meals. So, if you are ever in Boston´s China Town and looking for a memorable Chinese meal, Gourmet Dumpling House is an easy and highly recommended choice, receiving a four star Om rating. 

With that said, if you´re in the Boston area and hankering Asian food, I would point you to Maluken and Sushi Express and Gourmet Dumpling House. Until next time...

Sweet Sensation

Mmm, hungry for something sweet and healthy? One of my husband´s favorite desserts (I also like it), is vanilla ice cream topped with sweet and spicy pecans. It´s the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and light. While healthy vanilla ice cream can be hard to find (please look at the ingredients), it is possible. We purchased the 365 vanilla ice cream from Whole Foods and the sweet and spicy pecans from Trader Joe´s. You can easily purchase pecans from nearly anywhere and add your own spices to satiate your palate.

Entertaining on Election Day

Anticipating Election Day?! Excited? Nervous? There is no better way to bring people together than with food. Whatever the outcome, we tend to stress leading up to a big event, likely this year with this election. Under stress, we often resort to emotional eating. Forget the pizza delivery and soda, host your own party with nutritious snacks. Make your own dips, purchase items with direct knowledge of their ingredients.

Eat mindfully. Feel fulfilled. Be happy.

And if there is an election hangover tomorrow, it won´t include a food hangover as well ;-)