The Simple Way to Make Spicy Fish Tacos

Since I have been trying to lead a healthier lifestyle recently, I have been buying a lot more fruits and vegetables, which has been upping my weekly grocery bill. I have been trying to off-set that extra money but buying all meat and frozen items in bulk at Sam’s Club. I recently bought a huge pack of Tilapia, good for about 5 meals for us. I’m experimenting with new ways to eat it, and we tried these new spicy fish tacos last night.

We have made fish tacos in the past, and they’ve always turned out only okay. With these ones, I knew I wanted to actually marinate the fish to add more flavor, plus I added a simple chipotle cream sauce to the mix. My fiancé, while he has always had a good appetite and a liking for fish tacos, is a well-known wuss when it comes to spicy foods. He complained at first that these were a bit too spicy for his liking, but after trying another one with less chipotle sauce, he was just fine. Just beware of that when making them for your loved ones.

Hope you enjoy!

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Spicy Fish Tacos
2 Tilapia fillets
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Lime Juice
1/2 cup of light sour cream
Garlic powder
1 can of chipotles in adobe sauce
1 mango
1 avocado
1 tomato
1/2 red onion

Start off by marinating the fish:

Wash the tilapia fillets, slice and put in a medium bowl

Add olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper to the bowl.

Mix in bowl, until fish are coated in mixture. Cover and set aside in fridge.

While the fish is marinating, make the chipotle cream sauce.

Chipotle Cream Sauce
2 spoonfuls of Chipotles in adobe sauce
4 spoonfuls of light sour cream
lime juice
garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until creamy.

Next, chop up the mango, avocado, tomato and half a red onion. Mix in a bowl together.

Take out the marinaded fish, and sear it in a skillet, over medium heat. As soon as the fish is white all the way through (about 1-2 minutes on either side), take off the heat.

Put the fish, mango salsa and chopped lettuce into a tortilla. Top with the chipotle cream sauce.

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The Simple Way to Make Quinoa Fried Rice

Like I said in my last post, I’m on a quite the quinoa kick lately. I’m also trying to eat healthier and for cheap. My latest recipe accomplishes all of those things!

Stir-fry is one of my favorite meals to make, lately. I simply sauté some chicken or shrimp and veggies then cook them in a skillet with some sesame teriyaki sauce. I won’t write a full recipe on this for a few reasons: A. I make it different every time and B. I pretty much just said the recipe in one quick sentence above.

All and all, this side dish will compliment your favorite stir-fry recipe and is just as delicious on it’s own: Quinoa Fried “Rice.”

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My sister, the nutritionist, says that even though I add an egg and fry the quinoa, that this still counts as healthy. I’ll take her word for it. I’m obsessed with it. It’s delicious and easy to make with ingredients I almost always have in the house. I was first inspired to make this when I saw a recipe for Quinoa Fried Rice on Pinterest. That recipe had about double the ingredients I use to make my version, so I simplified it and made it my way.

Quinoa Fried “Rice”
1 cup quinoa
2 carrots
1 small white onion
1 egg
teriyaki sauce

Start to cook the quinoa in a saucepan with 1 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and reduce heat. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Take off heat and let sit.

While the quinoa is cooking in the water, chop up your carrots and onion. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a deep skillet and add the chopped onions. Let the onions cook for about 5 minutes, then add the carrots. Add the cooked quinoa to the pan and mix.

Push the quinoa/vegetable mixture to one side and crack the egg in the pan. Fry the egg in half the pan, and then chop and mix up with your cooking utensil in the quinoa mixture. Add the teriyaki sauce to the mixture – amount to your liking. Let simmer together for a few more minutes and serve!

The Simple Way to Make Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

Since I’ve been working from home, I’m on a new health kick. For the first time in a long time, I’m actually working out regularly (and I don’t hate it! Hooray!), eating better and experimenting around with new fun recipes.

I’ll admit, when quinoa became the new fad (like a year ago?) I went out and bought a big bag of it. It wasn’t cheap – cost me about $10. I’m also a little embarrassed to say, I never used it until recently.

I got the urge to test out the waters (took me long enough), and what a delight! I was inspired by a Dr. Oz episode about best ways to eat quinoa. One of the recipes he shared was for Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes. I tried his recipe, and they were okay. It definitely needed some tweaking and some simplifying. See below for my version of the Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes Recipe:

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Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup of whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tbsp melted butter + a little extra for the skillet
½ cup of almond milk
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1 cup blueberries

I mixed everything together in a bowl, then because it was still a little thick added ¼ cup of water and put it in the blender. I blended it all up in my Ninja Blender, then cooked spoonfuls on a lightly buttered skillet. Flip each over when bubbles appear around the edges. I hand-placed blueberries on top before flipping, but add whatever fruit you want! Oh, the possibilities.

Let me tell you – these were absolutely delicious. Even my fiancé, who CLAIMS to not like pancakes, ate all of his. I love pancakes, but they are usually too sweet for me to get going in the morning. These aren’t too sweet. They are fabulous.

You can also find Dr. Oz’s original recipe here.

There are more quinoa recipes to come. Get ready.

The Simple Way To Catch Everyone Up

First off, let me apologize for being a terrible blogger and not updating in about five months. A LOT has happened in five months. I want to use this one blog post to catch everyone up on exactly what has been going on and why I haven’t updated.

Last you heard from me, I was living in Cleveland and working in entertainment PR. In November, I made the giant leap to Los Angeles to pursue a dream of working in entertainment PR in the hub of it all. I got a great job at an agency and had the opportunity to work some amazing events and see tons of celebrity sightings. The highlight: my second week there, I worked a red carpet event where Meryl Streep was there, RIGHT in front of me, in the flesh! I will not bore you with all the details of my move and job, but I felt that was worth noting.

I worked there for about four months when my fiancé was offered an amazing opportunity in Plano, TX. After a lot of thought and back and forth, we decided that he needed to take the job.

So off we went, another cross-country move for the SECOND time in five months. We’ve always said we wanted to travel and live in several different places before we settled down, so why not?

Another minor detail of what has happened since I blogged last…I got engaged! I know, I spoiled it already when mentioning my fiancé, but he asked and I said yes.

Needless to say, I’ve become sort-of an expert when it comes to moving. Seriously. The biggest piece of simple advice to give to anyone who’s about to make a cross-country move? Sell everything you own other than what you can fit in your car, and drive it to your new place yourself. We saved thousands of dollars doing this.

To wrap it all up, I’m now engaged and living in Plano, TX – looking to start over. Now that this is out of the way, I’m ready to get back to blogging.

The Simple Way To Make A Halloween Costume

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! I love carving pumpkins, Halloween movies, and especially dressing up. Post-college dressing up is much different for me now that I’m not in school anymore. As Mean Girls put it (yes, I’m quoting Mean Girls – deal with it) “In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Now that we are done with college? Not so much. My goals for Halloween costumes now are to get creative and be able to make my costume on a budget. Halloween costumes are expensive! Here are some ideas for a simple, DIY costume this year:

Mummy

Mummy

This is the costume I went with last year. Super easy and with some white contact lenses (ordered from eXtreme SFX), it was really scary! The contact lenses are a little pricey, and definitely aren’t necessary.

Supplies needed:

White Long Sleeved t-shirt (I already had)

Leggings  ( I already had)

Set of cream colored sheets (Got a very cheap set at Target that was only $14)

Safety pins

Cut the sheets into strips and make sure they fray while cutting. Simply wrap the sheets around the leggings and shirt and secure with pins. The sheets were easier to put on while I was wearing the leggings and shirt – but it’s up to you how to put them on! I will say, it’s difficult to go to the bathroom with the rags, but I figured it out. For my makeup, I just used a lot of eyeliner and dark black eye shadow and smeared it all around my eyes. I used powder to make myself look paler, and put on red lipstick and smeared it down my chin with my hand. For my hair, I twisted my hair in small sections and used bobby pins to secure (Full tutorial here) and slept on it. Then, I pulled It out, put a TON of product in it and teased, teased, teased! Then I took a sheet strip and used it for a headband.

Instagram

This was the costume that my boyfriend decided on last year. He is a giant nerd, so it’s appropriate.

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Supplies needed:

Large Light Brown Poster Board

Large Dark Brown Poster Board

Medium Black Poster

Yellow Cellophane

Red, Yellow, Green and Blue Felt sheets

White Out Pen

Brown Ribbon

Cut the light brown poster board to look like a giant app. Cut the dark brown poster the same way – only use the top third of it. Cut the colored felt strips and paste them on the top left hand corner. Set aside. Cut a rectangle out of the center of the medium sized black poster board, leaving a little extra room on the bottom of the poster. Print out life-size “filter” options to paste on the bottom. Line the frame opening with the cellophane. Use the left over black poster board to cut out the black camera circle for the app and cut out an oval to place under the colored felt strips. Write “Insta” on it with the white out pen. Punch two holes on the tops of either side of the light brown cardboard app and securely tie a ribbon in them to use as a strap. Wear the “app” around your neck and carry the filter around with you.

Medusa

You can really make this as in-depth as you want – depending on budget and time.

Image Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Image Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Supplies:

Cream Sheet to use as a toga

Bag of toy snakes

Green eye shadow

Drape a sheet around yourself to serve as a toga. I would wear a green tank top/shorts and gladiator sandals with it. You could either make your hair big or put it up (see this great Martha Stewart tutorial here ) and bobby pin the toy snakes in your hair. I think this look would be completed with vibrant gold and green makeup.

Britney Spears 

Pleaded skirt, knee-highs, white button up shirt tied, cardigan, pigtail braids with pink feathers.This just is easy and everyone loves Britney circa 1999.

Image Courtesy LaurenConrad.com

Image Courtesy LaurenConrad.com

The Shining Twins

I realllllyyyy tried to convince my boyfriend to do this with me this year, but he declined (way to be lame, Jeff). Anyways, it’s fairly easy – all you need is two crappy blue dresses, white knee-highs, Mary-Jane shoes, black make-up to smear around your eyes, and of course, a hair clip. Look dead and hold hands during the night. Bonus points for getting someone to be little Danny Torrance (“Danny’s not here, Mrs. Torrance!” – sorry, I had to). Danny could dress up in overalls and ride around on a tri-cycle. IMAGINE THE PHOTO-OPS. I die.

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On that point – any costume related to a classic horror movie is all right in my book. What are you planning to dress up as?

The Simple Way To Make Chick Pea and Feta Salad

This is one of the easiest things I make on a regular basis now. My mom used to make this and have it sitting in a big bowl in the fridge at all times for us to munch on. It’s a much better (and just as convenient) option instead of reaching for the bag of chips. It’s simple, cheap, healthy and delicious – all the things I look for in a recipe.

Ingredients:

– 1 can of chick peas

– Feta cheese

– Fresh basil

– 1 tomato or a package of cherry tomatoes

– 1 green pepper

– 1 cucumber

Salad 3

Basically, all you do is rinse and drain the can of chick peas and add to a large bowl. Then cut up the pepper, cucumber, tomato (or half the cherry tomatoes) and basil and add to the bowl. Shake in the feta (amount to your liking – for the big bowl shown below, I used about a third of the container).

Salad 4 copy

 

Mix and enjoy! I eat this as a side dish or a snack. It’s great to pick at in between meals. Sometimes, I add just a little balsamic vinegar to it but most times it’s flavorful enough on it’s own.

Enjoy!

The Simple Way To Make Lamb Stew

Okay, so this recipe isn’t super simple – but it’s easy enough that anyone can make it. It just takes little more time. I also don’t have tons of pictures of this during the cook process because I honestly thought it was going to turn out bad. I was extremely surprised that it was delicious!

Lamb Stew3

My Yiayia (grandmother in Greek) has made this regularly since I was a little girl, and it’s a family favorite, so I’m thrilled that I was able to make it myself. I’ll admit, this isn’t as good as my Yiayia’s, but it’s pretty damn close.

Ingredients:

– Two pounds boneless leg of lamb (or lamb shoulder)

– Two sticks of celery

– Half bag of baby carrots

– One small onion

– One 15-oz can of Hunts Tomato Sauce

– One 15- oz can of Chicken Broth

– Ten small red potatoes

– Handful of green beans, fresh

– Lemon juice

– Oregano/Salt/Pepper

1. Chop up celery, carrots, and onion and put into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Chopped the lamb up into cubes and put into another large bowl. Season with salt/pepper, oregano, and lemon juice. Mix together.

Lamb Cubes Seasoned

Lamb Cubes Seasoned

3. Let olive oil heat up in a large skillet, then sear the lamb cubes until they are browned on all sides.

4. Remove the lamb cubes with a slotted spoon and put in a casserole dish. Use the leftover oils in the skillet, and saute the celery/carrot/onion mix.

My grandmother leaves the baby carrots whole and doesn't chop the celery as much. Chop however you prefer for your stew!

My grandmother leaves the baby carrots whole and doesn’t chop the celery as much. Chop however you prefer for your stew!

5. As the vegetables are searing on the skillet, cut the potatoes in half and put them in the casserole dish with the lamb.

6. Add the seared celery/carrot/onion mix and the oils and scrapings on the bottom of the skillet into the casserole dish with the lamb and potatoes.Then add the tomato sauce and the chicken broth. Mix.

7. Cover the casserole dish and put in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour

8. While that is in the oven, cook the green beans in boiling water. Strain and let sit.

9. After the hour in the oven, remove the stew and mix. Add the green beans and put back in the oven for 30 minutes.

10. Serve hot and enjoy!!

Deliciousness

Deliciousness

If I could do anything differently, I may try to sear the outside of the lamb leg before cutting it into cubes or try to slow cook the lamb in the crock pot before adding into the stew, to make it a little juicier and tender. Other than that, it was fantastic!

Do you have any family recipes you’re learning to perfect?