Archive for March, 2014


Vietnamese Tilapia with Turmeric and Dill  vietnamese-tilapia-turmeric-dill-ck-x  

marinade ingredients

1/4 cup sliced shallots

1 T chopped fresh dill

1 T minced garlic

1 T grated peeled fresh ginger

2 T fish sauce

1 T dark sesame oil

1 t ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

fish ingredients

4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets, each cut into 4 pieces

2 T peanut oil, divided

4 cups sliced sweet onion

1/2 cup torn fresh dill, divided

4 scallions, cut into (2-inch) pieces

1 T lower-sodium soy sauce

1 t sugar

1/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, crushed

lemon wedges


Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the fish; toss to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours.

Remove the fish from marinade; discard the marinade and solids. Combine the fish and 1 T of peanut oil in a bowl; toss to coat.

Heat the other 1 T of peanut oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat . Add the onion, 1/4 cup dill, and the scallions; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and the sugar; stir-fry 1 minute. Arrange the onion mixture on a platter. Return the pan to high heat. Add half of the fish to pan; cook for 3 minutes. Turn the fish over; cook 1 minute or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place the fish on the platter over the onion mixture. Repeat this procedure with the remaining fish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup dill and peanuts. Serve with the lemon wedges.

(Adapted from a recipe found on

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I am not a particularly spiritual person but I do believe in bigsmugkarma. I’m convinced that whatever you send out there, will definitely come back to you sooner or later. Having said this, I have officially given up being smug. It seems that every time I’m smug, the universe slaps me in the face.

Two examples come to mind.

1. Last March, my husband, two kids and I, were into March Madness. We all did our brackets and paid very close attention to them. By the time we got to the semi-finals, I was the last man standing: everyone was out except for me. So what did I do? I sent a really snarky text to all three of them boasting about this. The next day, my team lost.

2. The other night, as I crawled into bed, my husband asked me if I had put on the dishwasher. Was he kidding? I put on the dishwasher EVERY night. So I responded to him in a rather “uncivilized” way.  The next morning, when I went into the kitchen to empty the dishwasher, I noticed that while I set it all up, and turned it on, I forgot to press the “START” button. The dishwasher never ran. That never happened before.

I’m not sure if anything like this happened to you, but I’m a bona fide believer. So be careful of what you send out there……the universe might smack you right back.

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Avocado Quinoa Salad ganze und halbe avocado isoliert auf weiss(serves 6)

This simple salad has the perfect blend of texture and crunch. If you’re not a fan of quinoa, use rice instead. Utterly delicious!


1 cup quinoa

2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

2 Hass avocados

2 T lemon juice

1 large tomato, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced

2 stalks celery, diced


In medium saucepan, cook quinoa according to package directions, using chicken broth in place of water. Let cool. Cut avocados in half, remove pit and peel. Cut into chunks. Toss with lemon juice. Add avocado and all remaining ingredients to quinoa and toss gently to mix. Chill until ready to serve.

(Adapted from a recipe found on

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Five is a fabulous number. When celebrating, we give a high five-273639five, when running late, we say we need “just five more minutes”, and of course, there is the five second rule when food is dropped.  Here’s another way five can work: the five-pound rule.

As most of you know, losing weight, especially as we age, is not an easy task: IT’S A MAJOR UNDERTAKING. To minimize the agony, do not allow yourself to gain more than 5 lbs. When you’ve hit that five pound mark, a warning needs to go off in your brain (maybe “DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER!!”?) so that you get back on track. Losing five pounds is not that tough. But having to take off 20 or 30 pounds is a quite a different story.

Use the five-pound rule. It will prevent you from having to dig yourself out of a deeper hole. That’s why it’s fabulous.

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Yellow Rice with Peas images

I love this recipe because it uses turmeric, which not only adds amazing taste, flavor and color, but also has health benefits. (*See NOTE below)


1 T olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup long-grain rice

2 t Italian seasoning

½ t ground turmeric

2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup frozen peas


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion; cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Add the rice, Italian seasoning and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the frozen peas. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes or until the rice is tender.

*NOTE: For more information on turmeric, check out this link:

(Adapted from a recipe found on the bottle of McCormick’s ground turmeric)

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DIRECTV has some interesting commercials showing how  imagesone horrible thing can lead to another (the domino effect) just because we have cable and not DIRECTV. (i.e, growing a long beard and taking in stray cats?!)

While these commercials are ridiculous exaggerations, I think they have merit when it comes to losing confidence. When confidence is lost, we get the domino effect: We lose our ability to think, common sense goes out the window, and we wind up making stupid decisions.

This recently happened to me.

While I have many strengths, one of them is NOT being fashionable. I’m never quite sure what goes with what and quite frankly I don’t care!  However, I have a client/friend who does, and so I often ask her for advice. Recently, I needed an outfit for an upcoming event and sought her council. I went out a bought a dress and a pair of boots. The dress was too tight…….I couldn’t breathe when it was zipped. The beige, suede boots were too big in the calf…..I looked like I had wrinkly elephant legs. It was CLEARLY all wrong. And yet I felt the need to try on this outfit for her to get HER opinion. REALLY?………..I couldn’t figure this out for myself?  Didn’t my blue lips, from being squeezed and stuffed into this dress, say it all?

So the next time you’re in a situation where you think you can’t do something or figure it out, you’re probably wrong…….you can. Whatever you do……..don’t lose confidence! One thing will lead to another and before you know it, you’ll act as silly as the people in those DIRECTV ads, just like I did.

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Pappardelle with Sweet Tomato Sauce and Baked Ricotta IMG_1554(serves 4)


2/3 cup part-skim ricotta

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 t dried oregano

1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes in juice

3 T balsamic vinegar

1/2 t sugar

1 pound pappardelle

handful of fresh basil leaves, torn

grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400F. Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and put the ricotta in the center. Flatten it so you have a 1″ thick disk.

Drizzle the ricotta with olive oil and rub all over to coat the ricotta. Sprinkle with oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove and set aside.

Meanwhile drizzle some olive oil in a large saucepan. Heat on medium and swirl to coat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar. When  the sauce is done, add the basil and stir.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta. When the pasta is cooked, drain well. Toss with the sauce. When serving, add 1 tablespoon of the ricotta and add to the pasta. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

(Adapted from a recipe found in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, “Jamie’s Dinners”)

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