Greetings! I don't know how many of you have the strength or energy to make a home-cooked meal after a long day at work, but I know it is a personal struggle for me. I am usually exhausted when I get home, and all I want to do is take my shoes off and watch television. As attractive as this sounds, I know it is not a typical option for me. And let's face it, a girl's gotta eat! And so does her family. So I make an effort to cook at least 3 to 4 days per week...and I'm cool with that! As such, I am always on the look out for different ways to expedite the dinner preparation process. One way is to prepare quick and easy side dishes to go along with my protein. In the spirit of sharing, here are a few quick (and healthy) side dish recipes that pair well with many of my protein items. Check them out and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Roasted Sweet Potatoes Ingredients 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon 2 Teaspoons of Nutmeg 2 Teaspoons of Sugar (I use Splenda!) 2 Teaspoons of Honey Cooking Spray Recipe...and Instructions 1. Walk in your door, drop your bags, change into your play clothes and get the kids to a safe place where you can keep them busy for the next 45 minutes (if applicable). 2. Preheat your oven to 395 degrees. Skin your sweet potatoes and dice them. 3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (if you really want to save time during clean up, line the dish with aluminum foil and spray the cooking spray on the foil.). 4. Spread the diced sweet potatoes evenly across the baking dish in one layer. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes evenly with cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Drizzle evenly with honey. 5. Place pan in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes; 45 minutes if you like your potatoes to be extra tender. 6. Prepare your protein and any additional dinner items, so long as it only takes 35 to 45 minutes to cook. 7. Dinner is done! Everyone is happy! You are amazing!
Baked Cauliflower Ingredients 1 Head of Cauliflower 1 Tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder 1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder 1 Tablespoon of Basil 1 Tablespoon of Thyme 1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese Salt and Pepper to taste Recipe...and Instructions 1. Walk in your door, drop your bags, change into your play clothes and get the kids to a safe place where you can keep them busy for the next 45 minutes (if applicable). 2. Preheat your oven to 395 degrees. Cut your cauliflower into spears. 3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (if you really want to save time during clean up, line the dish with aluminum foil and spray the cooking spray on the foil.). 4. Spread the cauliflower spears evenly across the baking dish in one layer. Drizzle EVOO evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the cauliflower evenly with garlic powder, onion powder, basil, thyme, and salt and pepper. 5. Place pan in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. 6. Prepare your protein and any additional dinner items, so long as it only takes 35 to 45 minutes to cook. 7. Take cauliflower out of the oven and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. 8. Dinner is done! Everyone is happy! You are amazing!
Kale Chips Ingredients 1 Bag of De-ribbed, Washed and Dried Kale (We don't have time to do it ourselves!) 2 Tablespoons of EVOO Sea Salt to taste Recipe...and Instructions 1. Walk in your door, drop your bags, change into your play clothes and get the kids to a safe place where you can keep them busy for the next 45 minutes (if applicable). (As you can see, this doesn't change!) 2. Preheat your oven to 280 degrees. Cut kale into 1.5 inch pieces; toss with EVOO and lay kale on baking sheet. 3. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until kale is crisp. Turn kale once at about the 10 minute mark. 4. Prepare your protein and any additional dinner items, so long as it only takes 20 to 35 minutes to cook. 5. Take kale out of the oven and sprinkle with sea salt. 6. And then........dinner is done! Everyone is happy! You are amazing! There you have it! Quick side dishes! The trick is to make sure your main dish falls within the appropriate time frame. And for those with kiddies, you have to make sure they are safe and entertained so you can get dinner done and out of the way. However you do it, the goal is to make dinner preparation less daunting at the end of the day. I hope this helps! Have a great weekend!
Greetings Divas and Gents! Quick questions: How many of you have gotten behind the green smoothie craze? I'm willing to bet that many of you have. I think we all can agree that these green smoothies can be quite healthy. Many of the recipes I have seen pack tons of fiber, iron, and other vitamins that are necessary to maintain a healthy body. And if you are a busy professional who often skips breakfast because you don't have time, a quick green smoothie may be the thing for you.
After taking a survey of a good number of my colleagues, I have learned that more than half of them have adopted their own green smoothie recipe and daily routine to help jump start their day. Many of the recipes follow a similar format: kale or spinach (or both), bananas, and some other types of fruits that are designed to mask the taste of the vegetable ingredient(s). Some recipes call for yogurt or milk, and some also call for some sought of sweetener, like honey. However the smoothie is concocted, one thing rings true among each of my colleagues: each one claims that they played around with several different recipes until they found the one they liked best. Most of them also say that they prep their smoothie ingredients the night before so that all they need to do in the morning is throw them in the blender, pour the mixture into a to-go cup, and head out the door. Sounds like a good plan to me!
In the spirit of sharing, I have searched the Internet for 5 green smoothie recipes that can help you get started on your morning routine....if you're interested! Check out the ingredients and see which one works for you. Also, be prepared to add and delete ingredients until you find the recipe(s) that suits your nutritional needs and your taste buds. Enjoy!
1. Dr. Oz's Vitamin Cocktail (By Dr. Oz)
Photo courtesy of DoctorOz.com
Ingredients (Yields 1 Serving)
1 cup papaya 1/2 cup kale 1/2 cup spinach 1/2 banana 1/2 green apple Recipe 1. Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Green Morning Smoothie (By Melissa d'Arabian)
Photo Courtesy of FoodNetwork.com
Ingredients (Yields 4 Servings) 2 cups vanilla
almond, coconut or soy milk 1/2
cup whole oats 1 1/4
cups fresh, frozen or canned peaches, or mango cubes 1 cup
ice cubes 1 cup
baby spinach, loosely packed 1
tablespoon honey 1
teaspoon vanilla extract 2
bananas Recipe 1. Place the milk and oats in a blender and blend for 15 seconds on high. 2. Add the peaches, ice, spinach, honey, vanilla and bananas and blend until very smooth, 45 seconds. 3. Serve in glasses.
3. Clean Green Morning Smoothie (by Yolanda Adams)
Ingredients (Yields 4 Servings)
1/2 Granny smith apple
1 Stalk of celery
1/4 Cup of kale
1/4 Cup of spinach
1/4 Cup of fresh pineapple
1 Cup unsweetened coconut water
1. Place all ingredients in extractor (magic or nutri bullet) and
blend until smooth.
4. Go-Getter Green Smoothie (By Oxmoor House)
Photo Credit: Oxmoor House
Ingredients (Yields 1 Serving)
1/2 cup vanilla light soy milk
1 (5.3-ounce) carton fat-free Greek yogurt with honey
1 cubed peeled kiwifruit
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed honeydew melon
1 cup bagged baby spinach
1 cup sliced ripe banana, frozen (about 1 large)
1. Place all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Serve
5. Dr. Oz's Green Drink (By Dr. Oz)
Photo courtesy of DoctorOz.com
Ingredients (Yields 3-4 Servings)
2 cups spinach 1/2 cucumber 1/4 head of celery
1/2 bunch parsley
1 bunch mint
Recipe 1. Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smooth. If any of you out there are green smoothie connoisseurs, please share your recipe in the comments below. Thanks in advance!
Greetings Divas! As many of you fashion-forward Divas know, Radiant Orchid is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014. Whenever the new color is announced, I am always excited to find new pieces in the selected color to add to my professional wardrobe. Since I am all about sharing and suggesting, I have gathered a bunch of ideas that I have found around the Internet that I believe are excellent additions to the basic professional wardrobe. Take a quick look and let me know what you think!
How cool would it be to add a gorgeous pop of color to your basic professional wardrobe? Radiant Orchid gives you that chance! You can try a vibrant blouse to wear under a black or gray suit. If you really want to go for it, try it with a navy blue suit. Instead of a little black dress, why not try a little Radiant Orchard dress. Try one that you can wear in the office with a blazer, and then ditch the blazer for an after-work happy hour. Maybe you can try a cardigan in this beautiful color. Pair it with a black, gray, or navy cami and matching pants or a skirt. These are just a few suggestions.
If you're feeling bold, go for the big pieces (dresses, jackets, pants, skirts or overcoats). If you're not too sure about Radiant Orchid but you still want to work the color of the year, try to add some small accessories to your wardrobe. Shoes, purses, scarfs, bracelets, belts, watches, and broaches...all look great in Radiant Orchid, and can add just the right amount of flavor to your outfit. A little bit goes a long way when it comes to this vibrant hue.
Once you've added a few items to your wardrobe, go one step forward and add some beauty products to your makeup case in honor of the color of the year. If you head to any department store, you will find dozens of lipsticks, eye shadows, nail polishes, and lip glosses that have embraced the Radiant Orchid color palette. Any of these items, when used properly, can add just the right amount of sophistication and sass to your office apparel. Have any of you purchased any new item for your wardrobe in Radiant Orchid? How did you rock it?
Yeah I said it! I'm a gym snob! I have spent the better of 10 years trying to ignore that which I have always known to be true...that there are certain things that occur when I go to the gym that just annoy me. I understand that some of these things may not annoy other folks, but I really don't care...they annoy me! Seriously folks, I have cancelled my membership at some gyms because I was so annoyed that I didn't want to go anymore. And not going is not an option. Believe me, I can be quite raggedy when I don't go. You see, the gym is the one place I can go to relieve stress...and I generally have a lot of stressful things going on in my life. But working out calms me. I put my headphones in my ear, turn on my iPod, and I go to work. I am transported into my own little world. And once I'm there, I hate being distracted...the following things are BIG distractions: - Women Who Come To Play - Look ladies, I understand the whole concept of a workout buddy, but the key word in that concept is WORKOUT! Don't come to the gym to hang out with your girls! You can do that at the Starbucks. All the chit-chatting and giggling...girls stop! It is particularly annoying when you interrupt my run to ask me if I can switch treadmills with you so that you can use the machine directly next to your friend. And when I graciously agree to move to another treadmill, you and your girl occupy your treadmills for all of 5 minutes. FIVE MINUTES! You're playing...and I don't come to the gym to play. I have a hectic life with a tight schedule, and I typically have 60 to 90 minutes to get in and get out. My advice to you for-play-play girls, please head to your nearest Lucille Roberts with that foolishness and go play there. Yes I called out Lucille Roberts...and I'm not taking it back!
- Men Hitting On Me - I've written on this topic before, and it is so annoying that I feel the need to say it again. I hate being hit on at the gym. I am not one of those women who goes to the gym in her brand new workout gear and strut around until a man notices me. Nope! And I'm pretty sure I don't look like one of those girls. I always have the "I'm not interested" look on my face, and I work hard not to make eye contact with anyone who is looking at me. In my opinion, dudes who hit on me at the gym are just as bad as the for-play-play girls. So to all the men out there who are even thinking of hitting on me at the gym, please take the following cues: 1. If I refuse to remove my headphones from my ear when you tap me on my shoulder, then I am not interested.
2. If, when you approach, I immediately stop working out, walk out of the gym, get in my car, and drive off, then I am not interested.
3. If I turn my head in the opposite direction while you are speaking to me, then I am not interested.
4. If I tell you I’m married and my husband is trained in mixed martial arts and real swole, then I am not interested…and you may get your butt kicked!
Got it? Okay cool. Now back to my workout!
- Folks Who Don't Sanitize - People, the paper towel and spray bottles full of disinfectant that are strategically placed throughout the gym are there for a reason. Germs are real! Influenza is real! E.Coli is real! And more important, I don't know where your hands have been! Add to that the sweat you have wiped from your forehead right before you placed your hands on the sensor to check you heart rate. It's all pretty gross. But the gym gods have come up with the paper towel and disinfectant to kill some of the germs left behind after your workout...use them! Get off your machine and walk your tail over to the disinfectant station and make it happen! Don't leave your germs for the next gym patron. You wouldn't want the for-play-play girls to get sick, right? Stop being lazy and sanitize! - Equipment Hogs - This one is primarily for the weight machine hogs. I get it...you've just completed a grueling set, and you need to take a little break before you start the next set. I get it, I get it! But what I don't get is why you need to get up from the machine, slowly walk to the other end of the gym, take more than few seconds to stare at yourself in the mirror as your walk, give your boy a pound because you haven't seen him since your last set, and take a sip of water. All of this before you return to your machine...damn near 5 minutes later! I'm not here for this! If I was really about that life, I would throw away the towel you left on the machine to hold you spot, sanitize, and get to work on the machine...but clearly I am not about that life. So all I can do is be annoyed...this is me annoyed! - Cell Phoners - This one is simple. If you are on the elliptical, and your significant other calls you on your cell phone, by all means answer it. And stay on the phone long enough to tell him or her that you are at the gym, you will call him or her when you leave, you love him or her, and hang up. I seriously do not wan to hear your 10-minute long conversation where you and your boo are arguing about who will do the grocery shopping this week. Please excuse yourself, hit that locker room, and finish your argument there. Why am I so annoyed by this...ugh!
Not really the club...but they think they are!
- Loud Gym Music - I am a former member of Club Metro. I am a former member for several reasons, many of which are discussed in this post. But one of the main reasons I hated that gym was the loud music they played throughout the gym. Listen guys...the music was so loud at Club Metro that you couldn't hear if the person right next to you was speaking. It was so loud that I couldn't hear the music playing in my own headphones. How on earth am I supposed transport to my own world if I can't hear Daft Punk in my headphones? I can't, that's how! Okay...I'm done...I feel better now that I have confessed. I understand if some of you won't want to speak to me anymore, but I had to spill! I'm free! I'm sure I'm not the only gym snob out there. Come on folks...confess!