Almond Crusted Chicken Breast with Roasted Green Beans

Cooking has always been a hobby of mine.  Being in the kitchen is kinda like my therapy, and the result is (almost) always delicious! I get in the kitchen and cook, cook, cook but forget that I have a ‘food’ section on this site that needs some lovin’ every now and then!  It took my cousin calling me out on Instagram to light a fire under my butt.  So here you have it folks, not the best food photo I’ve taken, but definitely one of the best clean eats I’ve whipped up in a while.

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Diet to Go

We’re in the throws of awards show season!  From the Emmy’s to the Grammy’s at the start of the year to the Imagen Awards and Oscar’s this weekend, this town has been in a frenzy.  I too have been in a frenzy. 

I’m still figuring out which is going to be my first bikini competition of the season and I’m almost at a decision:  sometime in late April or early May.  While I figure the specifics of that out, I am being mindful of my diet and training and have started cutting back on my carbs.  This week is going to be my first ‘official’ week of competition dieting, so begins the challenge of prepping food ahead of time and staying on my plan.  I decided to try out Diet-to-Go for a few days this past week because, quite frankly, I’ve been having 14 hour days between training, work and auditions and haven’t had the time or the mental capacity to think about food prep.  Diet-to-Go is a meal delivery service that offers a variety of options such as low carb, vegetarian and low fat weekly meal deliveries – and it’s the most inexpensive fresh diet delivery system on the market, which makes choosing it a no-brainer!  I opted for low carb (duh!) and I was pleased not only with the convenience of not having to figure out what to eat when, but also the quality of the food. 

diet to go breakfast

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Oatmeal Shake (Batida de Avena)

My roommate has finally moved in and settled into our new apartment, and with her ever-cheerful Aussie accent and personality, she brought with her her love of snacking.  Well, more specifically, her obessession with drinking almond milk.  I’ve been a fan of almond milk myself for quite sometime because I suffer from mild lactose intolerance – that and when I was 6 years old my mother took my bottle of milk away from me and I vowed to never drink milk again . . . as you can see, I’ve always been a woman of my word as liquid bovine lactose has not touched my lips since. **Seriously, if you’ve ever wanted insight to my personality: I’ve been hardheaded and a bit ridiculous since birth as this little story proves**

silk almond milk

Fortunately for me, we will never suffer an almond milk shortage at my house because it’s as though we have a never ending supply of Silk! That means that I can enjoy making my favorite ‘batida de avena’ (oatmeal shake or smoothie) – the recipe of which was on my blog before I migrated it over to my official site.  So in case you didn’t catch it the first time, here it is, and believe me it’s great for breakfast or as a post workout drink due to the complex carbs and protein content:

 

Oatmeal Shake (Batida de Avena)
Prep time: 
Total time: 

 

Ingredients
  • ½ Cup Rolled Oats, Dry
  • ½ Cup Silk Almond Milk
  • 1 C Water
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder (my favorite for this is Plant Fusion in Vanilla)
  • 1 TBS Nut Butter (optional for healthy fats and flavor)
  • Ice optional

Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

 

If you want more awesome recipe ideas using Silk, take a look at their Facebook page for inspiration!

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

 

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My Sancocho Recipe

It’s finally beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! With temperatures hovering in the high and mid forties it’s only a matter of time before a flu bug starts going around L.A. and tissues become the season’s hottest accessory.  It must also be the season for mischief as my laptop charger broke as soon as I started typing this post :-/  Fortunately for me I have a fancy phone and friends with fancy computers so I can pick up where I left off, but unfortunately, my food photos are currently inaccessible.

Last night was probably one of the coldest nights I’ve experienced while out here in LaLa land.  Sure, I’ve lived in New England, central Pennsylvania and D.C. and therefore have endured my fair share of blizzards and ice storms, but feeling as though hail could fall from the sky at any minute is not acceptable for Los Angeles.  The fantasy of this being a sunny and warm locale is fading more and more quickly.  And I hate to burst your bubble, but the song ‘It Doesn’t Rain in Southern California’ lied.  It does rain. Quite a bit.  And that’s what throws people’s immune systems for a loop – we can never figure out how to dress for the weather!

One of my favourite immune boosting meals, one that conjures memories of my childhood both in the Caribbean and in snowy Massachussets, is Sancocho.  This traditional Dominican stew is delicious, filling and probably the most well rounded meal you could possibly have – the perfect accompaniment to a chilly day.  I made this for my friend Rachel’s Christmas dinner for the past 2 years in a row.  I can’t remember where I got the recipe, it’s adapted from one I found online, my grandmother’s version and then modified to fit my diet (because I don’t eat pork).

sancocho
Cuisine: Dominican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 8
 

Ingredients
  • 1 Lb Stewing Beef
  • 1 Lb Beef with Bones (ox tail, short rib are good choices)
  • 1 Lb Chicken Breast
  • 2 green plantains
  • 1 lb of cassava or yuca*
  • 1 lb of white yam*
  • 1 lb of eddoes or yautia*
  • ½ lb of potatoes
  • ½ of an Acorn Squash, peeled
  • ½ C Onion, Chopped
  • ½ C Green Pepper, Chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, Crushed (use fresh garlic)
  • Small bunch of coriander or cilantro
  • 2 large naranja agria (sour oranges)
  • ‘sopita’ aka chicken boullion to taste
  • 4 Quarts of Water

Instructions
  1. Cut meat into 1 to 2 inch chunks
  2. Toss all meat in a large bowl with the juice of 2 sour oranges (naranja agria), onions, green pepper and garlic and set aside to marinate
  3. Cut all vegetables to 1 inch chunks and set aside
  4. In a large pot, pour a little oil and sear all of the meat
  5. Once you get the meat evenly browned, add onions, peppers and garlic.
  6. Cook meat and aromatics until they start to sweat.
  7. Add half of water and 1 chicken bouillon and cover.
  8. Cook meat over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  9. Add all of the chopped vegetables and remaining water along with another chicken bouillon and a handful of cilantro/coriander leaves, stir and cover.
  10. Stir sancocho every 15 to 20 min and add more water as needed.
  11. Simmer over medium-low heat until all vegetables are tender.
  12. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes
This recipe feeds an army – left overs store very well in the fridge or freezer. OR cut the recipe down by half :-)

 

 

This post is compensated and in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Kleenex.  All thoughts are my own!

 

 

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Body pH & Apple Cider Vinegar Lemonade

A few weeks ago I discovered that my body was not alkaline.  For some reason, my body’s pH balance was off and the acidity levels in my blood had gone up.  A wonky pH balance like mine, known as acidosis, is very common in our society and could lead to a variety of problems if left unchecked; problems such as bladder and kidney conditions, weight gain, chronic fatigue, immune dificiency and premature againg.  None of that is ok with me so I talked to both a nutritionist and a friend (who is also a nutritionist and former figure competitor) and they both suggested a simple solution: adding magnesium supplements and lemon or apple cider vinegar to my diet. Although it might seem that citrus fruits would have an acidifying effect on the body, the citric acid they contain actually has an alkalinizing effect in the system.

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Green Smoothie

I am a lover of (most) fruits and vegetables, but I know not everyone is. Yet I don’t know anyone that isn’t a fan of a sinfully sweet beverage. My favorite green smoothie features fresh veggies and fruit, and is my favorite way to sneak nutrients into my diet. In fact, I’m a little upset that I don’t have the ingredients left to make some more

My Favorite Green Smoothie




Prep time: 5 mins

Total time: 5 mins

Serves: 1

Ingredients

    • Spinach (2 big handfuls)
    • 1/2 C Frozen Mango Pieces
    • 1 Orange (peeled and chopped)
    • 1 Scoop of ProFusion Pea Protein in Vanilla (or any unflavored protein you have)
    • 1 C Water

    Instructions

      • In a large blender, blend all ingredients until a smooth consistency.
      • Enjoy!

      Notes

      The frozen mango is what gives this that slushy, smoothie consistency so that you don’t have to add any ice!

      Google Recipe View Microformatting by Easy Recipe

      2.1.7

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      Produce and Clean Eating

      Ive mentioned time and time again ‘clean’ eating and that I’m reeling the snack monster within me in as I train for my next competition.  Plenty of you have asked what that means, so I figured I’d share with you a list of ‘clean foods’ that was given to me by my nutritionist.  Mind you, as I near competition date, the list of foods that I can eat gets extremely limited, but this my basic guide to remaining healthy and in shape year round:

      85 % of your nutrition should come from A list foods.  The other 15% should come from the B list of foods. All these foods should be unprocessed:

       PROTEIN:

      A:  chicken/turkey breast–skinless, extra lean ground turkey/hamburger, 1% cottage cheese (FF has too much Na+), protein powder (pp), egg whites, tuna, tilapia, haddock, cod, shrimp, scallops, lobster and game meats such as bison, buffalo and venison.

      B:  Eye of round, flank steak, yogurt (non processed, preferably organic or Greek), egg yolks (no more than 1 per meal), skinless dark meat—poultry.

       CARBOHYDRATES:

      A:  Lentils, Beans—all (kidney, red, black, lima, cannelini) , Sweet Potatoes, White Potatoes, Red Potatoes, Barley, Quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal-slow cooked, shredded wheat—real.

      B:  100% whole grain anything (bread, pasta, cereal, waffles, etc.), Brown rice in a bag, oatmeal packets (unsw.), Oroweat 100% WW bread, oat bran/whole wheat tortillas or wraps, brown rice pilaf, wheat pilaf, couscous.

      *Bet you’re surprised to see beans as a carb. Yep, once your body digests them and breaks them down, the macronutrient breakdown of them is mostly carbohydrates*

      FRUITS & VEGGIES are all A list! Which means they can and should be eaten with pleasure and frequency.  Again, near competition time some get cut out due to sugar content, but I dare you to find a fruit or veg that is not good for you!

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      I’m one of those people that has always loved fruits and vegetables but I understand why some people don’t. I think the issue is seasonality and availability. And Melissa’s Produce which happens to be one of the largest produce distributors in the country is addressing both those problems by providing seasonal fresh fruit and vegetable options to super markets across the country.

      These 2 good eggs were thoughtful enough to introduce me to Melissa’s and through this introduction I learned that Melissa’s not only provides non-GMO products to their supermarkets, but that their staff also retains a Rainman-like knowledge of every single produce factoid known to man!

      Presley's Pantry

      Thanks to Melissa’s, I’m able to do this giveaway that will help encourage you to try new fruits and vegetables and to live a healthier lifestyle:

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      Avocado and Tuna Ceviche

      Avocados have been a staple in my diet since I was a kid. I don’t know any Dominican that didn’t have a few slices of avocado with EVERY meal growing up. Ugh, my mouth is watering at the thought of sitting down to a family breakfast of eggs, queso frito (fried cheese), mangu and avocado.  I may have that just as soon as my competition is over :-/

      Now that I’m training and watching my diet, it turns out that avocados fall under the list of ‘healthy fats’ that I can still eat! Tuna, however, is a protein that I can eat freely but avoid like the plague. I’ve never found anything appealing about it. Little did I know that with tons of lemon and the mild creaminess of avocado, tuna can not only be palatable but delicious! I ate this as a post-workout meal, so I was allowed to have a bit of starchy carbs. With that in mind, I decided to pair the ceviche with home made pita chips.  They only take a few minutes to make and taste way better than anything you get out of a bag!

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