Category Archives: Vegetables

Easy Carrot Soup

Inspired by Mirielle Guiliano’s book French Woman Don’t Get Fat, I made her Quick and Easy Carrot Soup recipe. She tells of a lifestyle where indulgent things like bread, butter, cheese, chocolate, and soup are all a part of a healthy diet, if you eat them with pleasure. I absolutely LOVE this read- I love how she laces lessons on healthy eating into personal stories of her childhood, marriage, etc.  In her book, she describes soup as a mouthwatering magical elixir, always made with seasonal and wholesome ingredients. There’s something about the simplicity of this soup that makes it so appealing! There’s plenty of room for flexibility and versatility, too- a pinch of this and a dollop of that and voila, you’re done!

My absolute favorite part of eating this is watching the butter melt and swirl into the warm soup…

Quick and Easy Carrot Soup

  • Carrots
  • pinch sugar
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • dollop of butter

Place the carrots in a pot with and equal amount of boiling water. Cook for about 15 min, until tender.

Puree the carrots and water in a blender and season to taste with a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper. Serve warm with a dollop of butter on top.


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Filed under Soups & Stews, Vegetables

Quinoa and Black Beans

Watch as colorful ingredients combine into one healthful and lively dish!

Spring break! And for those people who aren’t traveling, this means lazy days are ahead. And what else to do when I’m bored but to cook?

Looking around in the library, I found this cookbook called Mayumi’s Kitchen. Mayumi is a macrobiotic cook, which means that she focuses on making clean, wholesome meals. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she had even cooked for Madonna for 7 years!

Let me break it down: The Macrobiotic Diet is based off of Japanese cuisine. Whole grains, vegetables, and legumes are the foundation of this diet, which basically means that it’s vegan. Unless, of course, you decidedly go the flexitarian way and eat meat only once in a while. Fruits and nuts are eaten here and there, too. Although, soups and salads are plentiful, and cleansing teas are the drinks of choice. But to tell you the truth? what attracted me the most to this diet were all the CARBS, BABY! (Let it rain rice). Being an Asian (Filipino, to be exact), I ate white rice morning, noon, and night. Of course, my grains tend to be healthier and more wholesome nowadays, but still- that’s a lot better than just eating like a rabbit all day.

The traditional Asian diet is obviously a high-carbohydrate one, which gives the benefit of providing a lot of energy, which was essential for getting through the more physical demands that existed back then. Being a recreational runner, my diet needs to consist of 50% grains, so that’s a plus! For example, the standard macrobiotic breakfast is soft-cooked brown rice with miso soup and tea.

I was so looking forward to cleansing my body of all the junk I had been eating (Cake, buffets, burgers, the like), so I was inspired to look up a recipe that would use up some of my quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Luckily, I found this delicious recipe from, which uses quinoa, a common macrobiotic grain source, and beans, which provides the macrobiotic protein. It’s easy, quick, and bursting with fresh, clean flavors!

P.S. The perfect ratio of beans:quinoa:corn:cilantro make for one photogenic and colorful meal every time.

I love the energy these ingredients bring to the recipe.

Quinoa and Black Beans

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

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Filed under Legumes, Rice & Grains, Vegetables

Green Bell Pepper and Onion Sliders


I have been dying to post this recipe for such a long time, but now I’ve freed up some space on my computer and I’m finally free from the evil clutches of my  start-up disk! Actually, this recipe was a lucky accident. I was cooking the pepper and onions for something (it was so long ago that I forgot!), we were out of the major ingredient, and I was left with a bunch of random sauteed veggies. Not knowing what to do with them, I threw caution to the wind and momentously threw them in a burger! Really. I grabbed the closest pack of meat and plopped them in. BAM! End of story. And what a happy ending it was! Those burgers were so simple, but still tasted wonderful, juicy, and savory, just the way I like ’em.

For this recipe, I let George Foreman’s Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine (complete with bun warmers) do all the work. I absolutely love this thing! It’s so simple, because all you have to do is turn it on and grill. And the plate it comes with captures all the grease and fat that slides off, so it’s super easy to make a healthy meal. Plus, the cheese melted like a charm. But if you don’t have some sort of grilling machine, it’s perfectly fine if you use the pan, too.

If you want to make regular burgers instead of a slider though, all you have to do is make the patties larger and cook the burger on medium heat on each side for 4 minutes.

Green Bell Pepper and Onion Sliders

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2-1 tsp kosher salt
  • dash of ground pepper
  • pesto
  • slider buns
  • sliced provolone cheese
  • lettuce
  1. Put oil onto skillet set on medium
  2. Cook garlic, onion, and pepper for 5 minutes until tender and season with a little salt
  3. Season beef with pepper and salt, and add in cooked veggies. Combine.
  4. Form patties small enough for the slider buns
  5. Add a little more oil to the skillet and cook the burger on each side until cooked the way you want it. Or, if you are using a grilling machine, put the patties on the grill, close the top over the patties, and cook for 2 minutes more or less (depending on patty size)
  6. Meanwhile, smear some pesto on 2 pieces of buns. Add some lettuce.
  7. Before the burger is almost cooked, add 1 slice of a folded up piece of provolone on the patty and wait for it to melt
  8. Put the burger on the bun and chow down!

Here is the regular burger made with Arnold Sandwich Thins and the skillet:

Now here are the burger sliders cooked on the George Foreman grill: (see also above)

That’s me multitasking by making 3 sliders at once 🙂


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Filed under Meat, Sandwiches, Vegetables

Tomatoes and Mushroom Pasta

I’ll have to admit, grains are my favorite food group. They just make everything taste better! And this pasta is no exception. I loved how it tasted so fresh and light, and the chopped tomatoes were a really pleasant alternative to the usual red sauce.

I had slightly changed the original recipe that I had found in the Seventeen magazine (I love that magazine sooooooo much!) by replacing the white beans with mushroooms, just because I was out of the beans. I don’t know about you, but mushrooms are an on and off food for me. On some days I absolutely love mushrooms, but on other days I can’t even bear smelling them. It’s a bit curious. But they are so fun to chop though!(I especially love pulling the stems out. No pre-sliced mushrooms for me)

Now for the basil!  I used fresh basil leaves for this pasta. And truly, it made all the difference! Plus, the pasta you’re making just feels more special when you pick your ingredients, rather than buying them processed at a store. Not only do I have a basil plant (supplied by Lowe’s), but I also have a lettuce, carrot, tomato, and chili garden. But more on that later.

I did have a really interesting find while I was mixing up the pasta though. I found a sort of squeezed fusilli pasta piece. After taking a picture of it, I ate it.(Yes, I really have a knack for doing that) It was sort of tough in the middle, but still suitable. 😀

Tomatoes and Mushroom Pasta

4 servings

adapted from Seventeen Magazine’s Tomato and White Bean Pasta

  • 1 lb. uncooked fusilli pasta
  • 4 small tomatoes or 2 large ones
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • pepper and salt
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Then drain out the water and put it aside.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes into 1 in. pieces. In the same pot as before, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and garlic; cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. 5 minutes in, add the mushrooms.
  3. When the whole 10-12 minutes are done, turn off the heat and scoop out the whole pieces of garlic from the mixture and set aside.
  4. Smash those garlic cloves with a fork! Have no mercy! After your smashing, in they go back in to the pot.
  5. Add the drained pasta and basil. Mix. Sprinkle with Parmesan, pepper, and salt.

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Filed under Pasta & Noodles, Vegetables