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.
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.
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).
- 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
- Cut meat into 1 to 2 inch chunks
- 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
- Cut all vegetables to 1 inch chunks and set aside
- In a large pot, pour a little oil and sear all of the meat
- Once you get the meat evenly browned, add onions, peppers and garlic.
- Cook meat and aromatics until they start to sweat.
- Add half of water and 1 chicken bouillon and cover.
- Cook meat over medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Add all of the chopped vegetables and remaining water along with another chicken bouillon and a handful of cilantro/coriander leaves, stir and cover.
- Stir sancocho every 15 to 20 min and add more water as needed.
- Simmer over medium-low heat until all vegetables are tender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
This post is compensated and in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Kleenex. All thoughts are my own!