A Few New Healthy Favorites & Other Recent Happenings

I've been having so much fun with my new adventures in healthy cooking! I decided that after I reach my goal weight, and start slowly adding back in foods that I'm restricting myself from while on my diet, I don't want to deprive myself from really any foods that I enjoy, rather come up with healthier ways of preparing them--whether with healthier ingredients, or by healthier cooking methods, and still keeping in mind good portion control. I've had some great success with the new recipes I've been using, most of my recent dinner recipes coming from skinnytaste.com. All of the recipes shown here are some of my recent favorites courtesy of Gina from skinnytaste.com minus the last photo shown, which is a classic Peruvian dish called Lomo Saltado from my Peruvian cookbook "Cocina Peruana". I will include the recipe below. One of the other things I've been working on a lot is meal planning. I have found it to be so helpful and such a time-saver knowing exactly what we're going to eat each night of the week and having all of my ingredients bought and ready to go. I've also been working on finding a good balance of meat, legumes, rice/pastas, and meatless meals throughout the week so we don't end up eating chicken every day, for example. Hope you all enjoy and maybe try some of these recipes!

Asian Glazed Drumsticks


Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork


Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup
(for the beef, I used super-trim stew meat)


White Northern Beans with Aji Verde Sauce
(I served this with brown rice which I finally figured out how to get the right texture: soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking--it turned out so much better!)


Turkey Chili Taco Soup


Peruvian Lomo Saltado (not the healthiest of the group, but so yummy!)

Apart from my cooking endeavors, I have been having lots of fun with Isaac. He is just growing up too darn fast! He is now 16 months old and starting to express himself more and more each day. He is quite the little fireball now when we have guests over, running around the house, showing off, and gets super hyper! It's a funny sight to see! He hasn't said much as way of words besides “Mama” and “Dada”, although on some occasions has said "Hola" and "up", but he is definitely being more verbal in general. He also knows how to sign "more/más", "please/por favor", "thank you/gracias", "eat/comer", "all done/terminé", and can wave "bye-bye/chau-chau", give high 5s, and blow kisses (besos volados). I try to teach him words, signs and sounds in the calmer moments, but he is just so active, he would much rather run around and play, of course! I love how active he is though, he is so fun and I love how he laughs when we chase him around the house. He is also quite the cuddly little guy. He never was much as a baby, but he likes to give hugs and kisses and loves to cuddle when I rock him to sleep at night. Nap times have been a challenge, especially since he is now only taking one a day. I've spoiled him in this area for too long also, and am just now working each day to get him to nap in his crib. Some days are good, other days, not so good. Isaac also recently got his first haircut which my sister did and he did pretty good. We kept it long and curly but did a short trim and more in the back so it didn't look quite so wild! I'll have to post pictures soon. I've also been learning new ways to discipline him as he branches out more as a normal toddler does and tests me at times. My main goal is to teach more than punish and always discipline with love and patience. I'm just beginning in this process, so I have absolutely no advice to other moms at this point, but hopefully I'll get it down someday. Who knows, it may take having a few kids before I really figure that part out. I think this part of parenting is already showing me how to be a better person overall.

Manuel is finishing up his first year of pharmacy school and will take his last final on Monday. I remember when he first started and I thought how long four years sounded and I can’t believe how fast this first year has already flown by! I am so proud of Manuel for all his hard work and efforts and he has done very well in his classes. He has also been volunteering Wednesday afternoons at the 4th Street Clinic for the homeless in downtown Salt Lake City working there in the pharmacy. It has been a great opportunity for him to learn more as he’s filled prescriptions and has helped with translating during patient counseling with Spanish-speaking patients. He really enjoys it but also hopes to get an internship opportunity in the near future and get even more experience.

Well I guess that’s quite a bit for one week’s entry, so until next time, love to our friends and family!


Chicken & Avocado Soup

I made this recipe yesterday for dinner, and it turned out great! It was really quick and easy to make with simple and delicious ingredients. The recipe says to shred the chicken but I ended up just dicing up small pieces after I boiled the chicken in the broth and it ended up shredding a bit anyways. Also, the recipe says it makes 4 servings but since it's so low in calories and it was our dinner, we basically made 2 servings out of it and shared with Isaac. I used low-sodium fat-free chicken broth and after I boiled the chicken in it, I needed to add a bit more since some had evaporated. Manuel said it had a nice salsa-y taste to it and also commented that you could really taste all the different flavors individually. I think this soup could be really great served cooled in the summertime. It's yummy so give it a try!



Dinner Last Night: Chicken Vindaloo

Watched this on Rachael Ray yesterday and thought it looked yummy and it's overall, a fairly healthy meal. We enjoyed it, although I'm not sure if this is anything I'd make often. It was my first time attempting anything Indian, and I'm so not used to those kinds of flavors! It turned out well though, so if you're looking for something interesting and different, give it a try! Here's the link to the recipe: