Destin..My Favorite Place To Be

This weekend, I am visiting one of my favorite places–Destin, Florida. I’m so excited because it’s been years since I’ve been to Destin, and I’m here with my siblings. I love it because it’s quiet and the beach is clear, and warm. So lovely!

The weather has been beautiful. Yesterday, it was sunny, with a cool breeze. The forecast predicted rain, but we were so thankful that it turned out to be a gorgeous day.

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This morning, I went for a jog with my sister and brother along the scenic route. It was a great way to start the day. I never used to like exercising while I was on vacation, but now I make it a part of my day, and I enjoy it.

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We made a late breakfast at home, and hit the beach in the afternoon. After we soaked up the sun for a few hours, we lay by the pool for a little while.

Yesterday, we rode a pontoon for the first time, and it was tons of fun! My brother navigated for most of the time while the girls lounged around. We took it out in the early afternoon until the evening, and packed our lunch and snacks with us for the day. I even drove it myself for a while, but it wasn’t long before my sister pointed out that I was going in circles, so I gave the wheel back to my brother. They say I’m not the most skilled driver, but I beg to differ 🙂

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Yesterday evening, my sister Nina and my sister-in-law Areej cooked dinner for us. They made baked chicken breasts with onions and potatoes, quinoa, and avocado and tomato salad. It was yummy and healthy! Today is our last day before we head back to New Orleans tomorrow. I hope you’re having a great a Labor Day holiday, wherever you are!

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Sandwiches & Shakes at The Milk Bar

Yesterday I was on my way to Subway to grab a sandwich for lunch, when I spotted this place en route. I decided to stop and try it, because I love to support local businesses.

The Milk Bar outside 2

And they had just what I was looking for…an assortment of sandwiches. The staff was friendly and easy-going, which I like.

Occidental Oriental sandwich

I had the “Occidental Oriental” and it was huge! It had marinated chicken, red pepper, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, peanut satay sauce, and mozzarella cheese. LOTS of mozzarella cheese! I was a baad girl (but it was SO good!) I was only able to eat half of it, and I was stuffed!

Inside The Milk Bar

I wanted to try a shake too, but I had to fight the feeling! I am trying to cut back on dairy, since it doesn’t work well with my medicine. But I think next time, I will sneak a try!

Orange Marmalade Chicken with Roasted Asparagus

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while now. I saw it on a commercial and I was excited to try. It’s simple and delicious! The ingredients are below:

  • organic chicken breasts
  • organic orange marmalade
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Pre-heat the over to 400 degrees. I did not measure the amount of marmalade. I simply scooped up as much as I wanted! Mince the garlic and cook it in a frying pan for about 2 to 3 minutes until it softens, and add it in a bowl with the marmalade, olive oil and salt & pepper. Then, line up your chicken breasts in a shallow baking pan covered with foil. Spread your marmalade evenly over the chicken breasts. Bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes.

orange marmalade pre cooked

In another pan, wash and spread the asparagus. Coat with olive oil and dash a little salt & pepper all over. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. You can even bake the chicken and asparagus at the same time. It was my first time cooking asparagus and I LOVED it!

asparagus

The recipe takes about an hour total, including preparation. I love simple meals with lots of flavor…especially for the working women who want to live healthy! Some days you want to cook, but there just isn’t enough time to dive into an extensive recipe. These are a great choice!

orange marmalade cooked

Panfried Shrimp and Watercress salad

This past weekend, I visited my aunt and uncle in Washington DC and we cooked it up on Saturday night! We went to the Lotte Plaza Asian market and they had a beautiful assortment of fresh fish. We bought 2lbs of jumbo shrimp.

fresh fish

fresh fish 2

My aunt and I peeled the shrimp, and marinaded it with lots of yummy spices. We pan fried it with olive oil and a just a little bit of butter.

peeled shrimp

fish seasoning

We seasoned the shrimp and marinated it in the refrigerator for an hour.

seasoned shrimp

My uncle made watercress salad. It was my first time trying watercress. I’ve been reading about it recently, so I was excited to try it. It’s a superfood, and you know I looove superfoods! Watercress is rich with antioxidants and is known for its ability to help fight cancerous cells.

watercress salad

It was a fabulous meal and it didn’t take long to prepare. I’m adding watercress to my shopping list! Here are the ingredients we used for the meal below.

Panfried Shrimp

  • oyster sauce
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • fish sauce
  • garlic
  • cumin
  • citric acid
  • garlic powder
  • old bay seasoning
  • paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • teaspoon of ketchup (optional)
  • cilantro
  • butter (just a bit!)

Watercress Salad

  • fresh watercress, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt

Light Lunch Medley

I’m having a light lunch today made with yesterday’s leftovers. I made turkey burgers last night (which I’ll post soon). I’m having organic salsa with corn which I cooked and added, black and green pickled olives, crackers and pepper jack cheese. Topped off with a Naked juice, my favorite flavor, Mighty Mango! A light lunch means I’ll be extra hungry for dinner, so I better make it a big one!

Light lunch ingredients

Light lunch

Pasta with home-made spaghetti sauce

This week, I set out to make pasta with a spaghetti sauce from scratch. I’ve noticed that my stomach doesn’t bother me as much when I eat home cooked meals, so I am trying to eat as much whole foods as possible. I thought I could whip up a sauce quickly, but it took me a little longer than I expected. 3 hours long! I rounded up all the ingredients I had in the kitchen and grabbed a few things from the market and this is what I came up with. I didn’t measure any of the ingredients. I experimented and just added a little bit of everything!

chopped veggies

sauce

paste

Laura's Lean Beef

Ingredients for spaghetti sauce:

  • chopped garlic
  • chopped green bell pepper
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped onion
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • red wine vinegar
  • sea salt & ground black pepper
  • oregano
  • bay leaves
  • thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • raw sugar

This was my first time making meatballs. I usually cook the ground meat with the sauce, but I wanted to try it the old-fashioned way this time. I seasoned the meat, rolled it up into balls and browned it in a pan on the stove top. I was worried that the inside of the meat balls didn’t fully cook, so I added them to the sauce and cooked it on low for about twenty minutes. I think they turned out okay. I’m still alive. And my sister said it tasted yummy 🙂

spaghetti plate

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Citrus Dressing

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe from Food and Wine Daily for months now. I finally had the chance to try it last night for my sister, and she really liked it (or so she says). I walked to three different grocery stores (in the bitter cold!) in Old City, Philadelphia to find all of the ingredients. I still came up short on a couple of ingredients, so I had to tweak it just a bit, but I think it worked out. The recipe doesn’t include baked chicken, but I added it since my sister was a hungry beast last night! Here is the original link to the recipe.

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Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Citrus Dressing  

  1. 1 pound medium carrots
  2. 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  3. 1 chile de árbol or other small red chile
  4. Kosher salt
  5. Freshly ground pepper
  6. 2 garlic cloves
  7. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  8. 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  10. 1 orange, halved
  11. 1 lemon, halved
  12. Four 1/2-inch-thick slices of ciabatta bread
  13. 3 Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into 6 wedges each
  14. 8 ounces assorted greens, such as watercress, spinach or mesclun
  15. 2 cups baby arugula
  16. 2 tablespoons unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
  17. 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  18. 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  19. 3 tablespoons low-fat sour cream mixed with 1 tablespoon of water