About Me

A mom of one (so far) and a wife to an Irishman. I LOVE to cook - but most of all I love my job as a mother. And as a mom I have become very conscious of my health & nutrition and that of my family and feel the best way I can help is to make sure I prepare good healthy foods. When I'm not cooking, cleaning or having fun with Aodhan, I am doing hair! And I love it. It's another way I can get creative and make people happy. (see more in the "my turn around" post.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Veggie & Lentil Soup - crockpot

Well, it's no surprise that I have been less than enthused about typing up recipes for my blog. I guess I didn't think it was going to be this tedious. I love sharing my recipes, and I love cooking them. But writing them out in exact portions (which is tough because I do so much "to taste") is no fun.

Anyways - here's my recipe for this tasty soup!

2 cups Chicken broth
1 can No Salt Added, diced tomatoes- season with basil & garlic
2 medium zucchini, or yellow squash or 1 of each!
1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh basil or thyme (I've used dry basil)

Add all to crock pot and stir well. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 3 hours - until veggies & lentils are tender.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Getting to the gym can be SO hard sometimes - especially when life gives you a heavy load. But lately, I have made every effort to stick with my personal commitment of 5 days a week. I'm wondering how long this will last! I do have confidence in myself, but after 5 weeks of 5 days a week, I still am DRAGGING myself to the gym. Why is this so difficult? I am beginning to see results (finally) and I feel a million times better - in a better mood, handle stress better, happier- and yet I still have to convince myself to go. I do have friends to meet me there from time to time - THANK GOD- otherwise I don't think that I would make it. But 5 weeks is done, can I do 5 more? Can I make it through to December? God, what will I look like then? That is - of course - if I am still not pregnant. Speaking of which - It has also been over a year of trying, and I have to admit, it has become...depressing at times, at times stressful, tearful and over bearing. I just LOVE when people tell me to just "stop trying and it will happen". Really? Stop trying? hmmm...that just doesn't work for me. My cycle varies from month to month - anywhere from 25 days to 31, my body does not show any signs that I am ovulating so I have to take a test, how in the hell would I get pregnant if I "stopped trying" or "didn't think about it"? And just so you know, I actually tried "not trying" for a few months - no testing, and "trying" at random. Hasn't worked. But I haven't lost hope. It does take longer for women my age (35) longer to conceive. And being that infertility treatment is SO expensive, I just don't see us going down that road anytime soon. My point? That working out has DEFINITELY helped me with this hurdle. I am focused on my health and getting back into shape. I also plan on joining my friends team (she is a breast cancer survivor) and doing the Susan G. Komen 5K race for the Cure. It's at the end of September, And I plan to run the whole thing, at hopefully a relatively quick pace. I'm at 2 miles right now, so I should be fine. But it is something to work towards. Plus I want to be able to be in the best shape for pregnancy, work out during my pregnancy (barring any unforeseen circumstances) and bounce back quickly after birth. So I guess we will see! And here goes week 6! Wish me luck!

My Crock Pot - Chicken & Bean Fiesta Soup

Time to dust off my Blog!!! HA HA!!!

I just need to get better with this thing. I would like to use it at least once a week, but it just means I have to start thinking about dinner the night before. When I do, I LOVE it! Because I don't have to worry about "What's for Dinner" during my day at all! And although, planning and cooking dinner is usually a fun adventure, I don't always have the time! Here's a recipe I thought I would share :)

1 packet of thin cut chicken breast fillets (1 lb-1.5lb or so)
1 finely chopped yellow onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 cans of Diced Tomatoes, season with basil and garlic, no salt added
1 4oz can chopped mild green chilies, drained
1 can low sodium chili bean
1 can low sodium white beans
1 yellow squash chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 19oz can of Green Enchilada Sauce (las palmas)
11/2-2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Chopped Cilantro
shredded Cheese
Light Sour Cream

Add everything into crock pot and stir it up. Set on low for 8 hours. Pull chicken out and shred and add back to your soup. Serve with your toppings. I also tend to drain some of the liquid to make it more stew like. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


And this is why I struggle...there are times when I am just too tired...have worked a very long 12 hour day....when all I want to do is sit or sleep...when energy seems to escape me and I want the easy way out. And then the slide continues...for as many days as I work 'til late...and see my house not as clean as when I'm home and not working, and I get so overwhelmed with how much I need to do to make it clean & organized and I stress about it. If I could just get up early to get to the gym at 6am, this would not be a problem. But when the pads of my feet hurt from standing all day and overall tired from the long hours (especially since I'm just not in my 20's anymore), I feel like working out will take whatever energy I have left in my body when I need it to work another 10-12 hour day! Although if I could just get to a point to where the 6am or even 8am workouts are routine, then I would have the energy no matter what! If I just would keep going, then I might be a size 8 by now - which is my goal. dang it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Butterrnut Risotta with Baked Chicken

The Butternut Squash Risotto can actually be served as a main entree - but I used it as a side instead. So it's up to you! But this dish was LOVED by my husband & son! Aodhan ate all that was on his plate!

2 cups of water, divided
3 1/2 cups beef broth - low sodium
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 12 oz bag of Butternut Squash, cubed, from Trader Joe's (or 1 1/2 cups of peeled, cubed in 3/4" squares)
***If you want to serve this dish as an entree, double the amount of squash!
2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup peas
1 1/2 cup Risotto
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley

4-6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
season with garlic, salt & pepper
*optional - add a soy-orange glaze over your chicken (1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce 3-4tbsp orange marmalade. sauce should be thick - not too sweet, not too salty)

OK - you will have three things going on at the same time. Your chicken, broth pot, and the veggie risotto pot.
So first:
Heat your oven to 400
Spray cooking spray in a casserole dish. Add your chicken and season. (Add glaze, if desired) Cover in aluminum foil and bake. like 50 minutes - but check it - depends on the size of the chicken thighs. Turn your chicken half way through. the last 3 minutes of cooking, turn the oven to Broil, and take off the foil.

While your chicken is going:
In a large saucepan, heat to a simmer - don't boil- the beef broth and 1 1/2 cups of water.
In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil and add onions. Cook til golden brown.
Add 1/2 cup of water , squash, salt & pepper. Cook until squash has softened.
Add peas.
Add risotto and 1/2 cup of broth mixture. Stir continuously until all water is absorbed.
Keep adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, each time waiting until all water is absorbed.
The last 1.2 cup of broth you add, also add the tomatoes.
Once all water is absorbed, add the butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Cover until chicken is ready and serve!

Monday, May 3, 2010


So as you know, I am trying to eat better - but not just at dinner, but through the whole day. It is such a constant thought process for me!! I do pretty good for breakfast - I usually reach for the Fiber One cereal - and seriously it's surprisingly tasty!- or Kashi (of which I add raisins) and eat with 1% milk. I may also have a piece of wheat toast - with a little (real) butter. Lunch I do pretty good too - I usually have Aodhan with me and so we eat together - and I'll eat what he eats for the most part but also have like a chicken sandwich on wheat with tomatoes and spinach. But what I have realized is how important snacking is!!! I've always heard two schools of thought on this - Don't snack, you don't want to over eat! - or - You have to snack more - it helps your metabolism! The latter of the two is what I follow now. And now I won't even leave my house without carrots, grapes, banana, sliced apples in my purse. Funny how I always do this for Aodhan, but never myself, until now! And it's true - it does help your "engine" moving! And it helps me be in a better mood and feel more energized. From my Eat your way to Happiness book - "People who divide their food intake into little meals and snacks throughout the day think more clearly and feel better than people who eat irregularly. In contrast, meal skippers are more prone to mood swings, probably because when they do eat, they eat too much of all the wrong stuff." So during the time between meals, instead of being starved by lunch time or dinner time, I'm not as hungry, and my portion size becomes smaller! And I don't crave the "bad" snacks - chips, crackers, sweets - as much. After dinner is still tough for me - I usually want something sweet - 8 times out of ten I'll reach for yogurt, but sometimes I will give in to chocolate! I'm not perfect!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sneaky Pasta & Meatballs

Something quick and easy! And is a bit more healthy than your kids might think!

Whole Wheat Pasta - in the amount that you need
(I like Rotelle pasta - easier for my son to eat with his fork, but you can use whichever!)
Stock pot of boiling water - like 6 cups? (depends on how much pasta - I always eyeball it)
Tomato Sauce (find the organic or low sodium version) - 3-4 cups - enough to cover your pasta! (again, I eyeball this - use your best judgment! I like alot of sauce, if you don't, scale it down)
2-3 tbsp Olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup steamed broccoli
1/2 cup peas
1 cup steamed carrots (very soft!)
1/2 finely chopped yellow squash

1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 large egg white
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Make your meatballs first. Combine all meatball ingredients with your (clean) hands and mush all together. Roll 10-12 balls. Stick on a cookie sheet and place into the fridge.

1. Add your pasta to boiling water and keep boiling until pasta is softened.
2. In a sauce pan, heat Olive oil, fresh basil and Tomato sauce on low heat.
3. Take broccoli and carrots and finely chop in your chopper, food processor or blender as fine as possible- so small it is hidden in the sauce, then add to the sauce.
4. Add garlic, peas and yellow squash.
5. Get your meatballs and add to the sauce and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until meatballs are cooked.
6. Drain your cooked pasta, add to the sauce, stir & serve!