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Easy Salmon Bowls

I have a confession that may get me kicked out of the healthy community. I do not particularly enjoy eating fish. I am okay with white fish, but I don’t love salmon (one of the healthiest fish due to its higher fat content). Fish provides Omega-3 Fats, which help our heart and reduce overall inflammation. A word about buying fish. ALWAYS buy fish labeled “wild-caught.” This means the fish was taken from its natural habitat after eating its natural diet. “Farm-raised” fish was raised in large groups and fed using grain by-products. This makes farm-raised fish richer in Omega-6 fats which we already get way too much of in the standard American diet.

Because I realize how much I need fish in my diet, I’m always looking for a way I can eat salmon and enjoy it. One thing I do love is Asian food. I decided the best way to eat salmon was to give it some Asian flavor. These salmon bowls are DELICIOUS! They come together really fast and are easy to customize. I love meals like this because I don’t have to try to please everyone. I put out the toppings and everyone can just add what they like. These are also great for company for that exact reason. When I eat these bowls I can honestly say I love salmon.

If you’re going to use rice, start it cooking first.

Then start working on the salmon. I’m not willing to spend a lot of time cooking dinner so I love to cook fish in the oven. I don’t want to have to watch a pan. After it cooks, the salmon easily flakes away from the skin in bite-size pieces. If you REALLY don’t like salmon, you can make this with any fish. Shrimp would be DELICIOUS (a fish I actually do love to eat). Just remember to look for that “wild-caught” label.


While the salmon cooks, prep all your toppings. There is really no wrong way to do this. We use cucumber, carrot, red pepper, spinach, cilantro and avocado but if you want to use something different, go for it.

Then make the sauce. I love this sauce because it only requires one bowl and no cooking. Make and store extra for salad dressing. I like to use tahini, my husband likes peanut butter. Either is delicious. You can also use almond butter or really any nut butter you have on hand. Don’t go out and buy something if you have ingredients that work.

Now just build your bowl how you like it. I like to add a scoop of rice a huge handful of spinach, one whole flaked salmon fillet and then top it with my veggie strips. Then I just drizzle the whole thing with the sauce. My family members pick the veggies they like so there’s not complaining about not liking certain ingredients.

And that’s it! Dinner is ready! Enjoy your fish!!

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Tender Slow Cooker Salsa Beef

I’m officially insane. Every time I try to simplify my life, I find something fabulous I need to add to it. My son has been taking piano lessons for three years. Plus he goes to karate twice a week and has cub scouts once a week. My daughter is in ballet and tap. Every Sunday I sit on my porch swing and think about how nice it is to relax and how we need to get rid of some activities in our lives. So what did I do last week? I signed my daughter up for piano as well. What’s worse is that it was my idea. She was content with ballet and tap but then I opened my big mouth and asked her if she wanted to take piano. She was thrilled! She’s been “practicing” every day since. The good mom in me is really excited for her. Learning music is important and she’ll love it. But the other side of the good mom is not so happy. I’ve added one more thing to our lives. Sigh. Oh well. It will all work out in the end. Or else I’ll die of exhaustion. Guess I won’t know until I try, right?

So for all you other insane moms out there who are also stretched beyond your limits, I have yet another slow cooker recipe for you. I believe the slow cooker was the best invention since 2-ply toilet paper. Some days, it’s the only way we have a warm meal on the table at dinner time. I can throw everything together in the morning and then come home from ballet or piano or karate or cub scouts or the therapy sessions I should sign myself up for and still be able to give my family a delicious, healthy dinner.

This salsa beef meets all the criteria of comfort food. It’s packed with flavor, tender and super healthy.


This is another fabulous dump and go recipe. While that doesn’t sound glamorous, it’s way better than a bowl of cereal, which is plan B on busy days. Just pull out the slow cooker and add stew meat, carrots, stewed tomatoes, salsa, molasses and garlic. Then let all the flavors meld together. Mmmmmm. A word about salsa. You have to be careful when picking salsa. A lot has added sugar, but it’s still easy to find one that does not if you’re willing to read labels.



Stir this together and cook the entire thing on low for 6-8 hours.

My husband eats this over rice, but my daughter and I like it over mashed sweet potatoes. Either way, you can congratulate yourself at the end of the day for preparing a delicious, healthy dinner for your family even though you spend your days as a taxi driver.


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One-Pan Apple Chicken Breasts

20150115_181247Chicken is cheap and has great protein, so we buy a lot of it. But chicken can easily become very boring. This is a fun change from a basic grilled chicken. I read a recipe similar to this in a “healthy” cookbook. I was shocked it was considered healthy with all the sugars and hydrogenated oils. I changed up some of the ingredients and left out the processed sugars and was very pleased with the results. My daughter loved it and since kids are always a good indication of whether a recipe is actually good, I’d say this one is a keeper.

Saute a sliced apple in the coconut oil until it’s tender. I used a Granny Smith apple because they were on sale but any apple will work fine. Set the apple slices aside in a bowl.

Season the chicken with the cinnamon, salt and pepper and add that to the pan with the rest of the coconut oil. Just brown both sides here. You’ll completely cook the chicken a little later. Browning it a bit before cooking it keeps it juicy and locks in the great flavors.


Now set the chicken aside. Don’t worry about keeping it warm as it’s going to go back in the pan later. Add the onion, cover the pan and cook the onion until it’s soft. If you don’t cover the pan, the onion with get brown and  crunchy. You don’t want that. You want the onion as soft as the apple.

Now add in the liquids and let that simmer a bit before adding the chicken back in. Once the chicken is completely cooked, add the apples and make sure everything is warm.


The best part about this dish (besides the flavor) is the fact that it comes together in one dish. I hate washing dishes so I cut out as many as possible when cooking. We ate this over rice, but you can use quinoa or mashed sweet potatoes.

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The Easiest Way to Cook Delicious Chicken

Everyone has that one thing they can’t cook. That thing that no matter how simple it is, no matter how closely you follow directions, you always fail. Right? Or is it just me? So I admit, there are actually two seemilgly simple things I just can’t make. One is rice. I truly feel like the laws of physics defy themselves when I try to make rice. Luckily, I solved that problem with a rice cooker. Done.

Cooking fail number two: a whole chicken. I can make turkey with no problem, but no matter how long I keep a whole chicken in the oven, it comes out raw in the middle. I don’t get it. Luckily, I found a solution to this problem too: the slow cooker. Not only does cooking it in the slow cooker ensure I can actually cook said chicken, but it always comes out moist and is so easy to put together. And I can come home to the smell of dinner and a warm, hearty meal. I will never try to cook a chicken in the oven again.


2016-01-10 10.58.03They are all generally around the same size, but I always try to buy the biggest chicken I can. This way I know I’ll have healthy leftovers during the week for salads. I would tell you how best to slice this chicken, but slicing is not an option. It basically just falls off the bone when you try to pull it out.


2016-01-10 18.26.50

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Healthy Pico Frittata

Last week we were supposed to have chicken for dinner. About an hour before dinner, I realized I had failed to thaw said chicken. This always leaves us with two options: Go out to eat or throw together something quickly with what we have on hand. In the past I would have boiled some pasta and topped it with canned sauce. That amounted to very little protein, lots of sugar, and basically just a lot of processed junk. So I needed a solution that would give us a protein and vegetables without loading us down with processed ingredients. The solution: eggs. Eggs are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and iron. It’s hard to beat the nutrients of an egg. Plus, turning it into a frittata makes it seem more fun and elegant. If I were Fancy Nancy I’d say, “We’re eating frittata. That’s a fancy word for eggs.” Can you tell I spend a lot of time with a 5-year-old girl?


Brown a pound of turkey sausage. Let this cool a bit or the eggs with scramble as soon as you add it.

Whisk together the eggs and almond milk. Stir in some Pico de Gallo. Pico is so versatile and adds all the seasoning this dish needs. Add the sausage and mix everything together.

I like to bake this in a pie dish but you could also bake it in a 9×9 pan or an oval casserole dish.

This dish is great because it’s so versatile. Add whatever meat you want or leave it out completely. If you’re not a fan of pico, switch it out for different vegetables. Use what you have on hand and what your family likes.

This goes great with roasted veggies, a green salad or sliced fruit.

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Chicken Avocado Lettuce Wraps

My son has activities on Monday and Wednesday nights. We have to make dinner in advance so we can eat right when we get home. This leaves us with three options: crock pot, salad or sandwiches. This can get old, so we’re always looking for something to mix it up. These chicken avocado lettuce wraps are fabulous because we can make them in advance and they’re super yummy.  Plus there’s usually enough to have leftovers the next day for lunch. As a busy mom, those are always my favorite kind of meals.


Start by cooking some chicken breasts. I always poach them because it’s a fast way to cook chicken. You can also use store-bought pre-cooked chicken. Then work some magic. Put the cooked chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.


Turn it on and… VOILA! Yep. That just happened. Since I learned this trick, I never used two forks to shred chicken.


Then add the avocados, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and mix again.



I like to serve this in a lettuce leaf. I generally use green leaf lettuce, but romaine or even iceberg would work fine. If you really don’t like lettuce wraps, serve it in a whole wheat tortilla. I personally love the crunch the lettuce gives.



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