Grilled Thai Steak Salad

I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of chores, home repairs and working out that blogging has taken a back seat (unfortunately).  But the good news is that my energy level is up. I don’t know if it’s due to changes in my supplements, the mindfulness is kicking in, my increased workout schedule or a combo of the three.

Just a couple of big projects to wrap up and then regularly scheduled blogging and cooking videos can commence.  Whew!

Anyway, here is a great way to start your day:  Grilled Thai Steak Salad.

Yep, that’s right. A salad for breakfast.

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Creme Fraiche

For St. Patrick’s Day I ended up making a corned beef brisket but forgot to buy the cabbage. Thankfully I had some Brussels sprouts in my fridge. They are the same species as cabbage and green too!  Whew!

I was planning to add bacon to the sprouts when I came across this recipe in The Real Meal Revolution. For some reason I never thought to lightly saute steamed Brussels sprouts in the rendered bacon fat. Add in creme fraiche and awesomeness happens.

Chimichurri Rib-Eye & Zoodle Salad

steak & zoodle salad

What initially started off as a boring steak and zucchini dish turned into an awesome salad thanks to some heirloom tomatoes and chimichurri sauce.

When putting together my weekly menu, I originally planned a Wednesday lunch of grilled rib-eye steak with 1/2 a large zuchinni. Wow, there’s excitement for you. Then it dawned on me to make zoodles with the squash and add some Argentine chimichurri sauce. That sounded tastier. Toss in some slices of heirloom tomatoes and now you’ve got an awesome salad.

Chimichurri sauce, if you haven’t experienced it, is just wonderful. Garlicky and tart, the bright green color really pops. It can double as a marinade or sauce that you can use for chicken, pork or vegetables. But I absolutely love it with steak.

Typically it’s made from fresh parsley and oregano, garlic, vegetable oil and white vinegar. For mine I used what I had available: flat-leaf parsley and cilantro.  Read More

Keto Friendly Egg Salad

egg salad

Nothing like a keto friendly meal to break a fast. Egg salad, butterhead leaves and glorious bacon. Yum.

Last night I whipped up the Aktins’ egg salad recipe. It was the perfect way to break my fast this morning (30 minutes after a few olives). Now I’ve never been a fan of egg salad. Growing up most of the time my dad just got some from the store. It always smelled overwhelmingly eggy to me. But then again as a kid I was a very picky eater.

Thankfully I’m done with being “too picky.” Although I think my hubby might not quite agree with me on this point.

Anyway, the recipe is very simple and delicious. My favorite part is the celery. That might seem strange as I unconditionally love eggs. But the celery adds a great crunch and texture.

I added 3 large Boston butterhead leaves and thick bacon for a grand total of 3g carbohydrates.

Egg Salad on Boston Butterhead Leaves with Bacon
Macronutrient Breakdown – 77% fat, 20% protein, 3% carbs

  • 1/2 C Atkins’ Egg Salad – 2.1g total carbs (0.3g fiber)
  • 3 Large Boston Butterhead Leaves – 0.9 total carbs (0.6g fiber)
  • 3 Slices Thick Center Cut Bacon – 0 total carbs

Cubicle Diet – Lunch Ideas For Eating Healthy At The Office

Looking for great lunch and snack ideas to spice up your lunches and keep that keeps the vending machine at bay? Check out Nom Nom Paleo for great, healthy lunchbox ideas.

Looking for great lunch and snack ideas to spice up your lunches and keep that keeps the vending machine at bay? Check out Nom Nom Paleo (an awesome food blog you should bookmark!) for great, healthy lunchbox ideas.

My husband regularly comes home from work complaining about the assortment of donuts, bagels, Panera sandwiches, cupcakes, cookies and other carb-loaded, sugary temptations at the office. When he is home, I know he eats healthy because he eats what I give him. But for a man who proclaims “pie” as his favorite food group, that daily 9-5 grind is more problematic.

Sure I send him to work with healthy lunches, but are they appetizing? When I’m scrambling around in the morning to make his lunch, I’m going for convenience (for me). I never really thought my cooking was in competition with this processed junk.

Perhaps my lunches are too boring for the hubby’s taste buds. They certainly are losing out to the junk sitting out across from his lair cube.

Reality hit me the other day when he blogged about a nightmare he had the other night. A dream so hideous that it shook him to his very core — he was at a buffet and they never filled the French toast bin. Oh, the horror!

I think it’s time to rethink my lunches.

Thankfully Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo packed a ton of great lunch ideas in one location on her awesome blog. For both kids and adults, her food combos can more than compete with any of that processed crap.

Besides her 20+ ideas, Michelle includes a mess of lunch related links to give you even more ideas.

We’re headed to Florida this week. While the hubby is attending a writer’s conference I’ll slave away on a game plan for next week’s lunches…all done poolside of course!

Avocado & Basil Dressing

Just combine all of your ingredients in a food processor. You'll have a great tasting salad dressing in minutes.

Just combine all of your ingredients in a food processor. You’ll have a great tasting salad dressing in minutes.

Avocado and basil…two wonderful flavors joined to make a healthy, tasty and creamy salad dressing.

I found it recipe on the Nom Nom Paleo app — a must for every healthy kitchen. An app review is coming soon (hint: it is awesome!).

The dressing reminded me of a creamier version of my pesto, with the avocado flavor taking the place of my beloved walnuts.

It’s a pretty thick dressing thanks to the avocado. If you want it a little thinner, I suggest adding a more lime juice. But not too much more…you really want to keep the great avocado-basil flavors. You can also just use a couple of tablespoons of water.

If you rather not thin it, I’d suggest tossing the dressing and salad in a bowl before serving.

For dinner we had Chorizo-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (that recipe will be up tomorrow). I just added a side of mixed greens with tomato and a tablespoon (half the serving size) of the dressing on top. Yum!

Avocado & Basil Dressing
Net Carbs: 1g
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 3
Servings: 2 tbsp/serving (total of 8 servings)


  • 1 medium Hass avocado
  • 1 C basil leaves, packed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • fresh lime juice from 1.5-2 limes
  • Kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp water (optional)


  • Remove the skin and pit from the avocado and place in a food processor. Add in the basil leaves, garlic, lime juice, salt, red and black peppers, and olive oil.
  • Mix all the ingredients until well blended.
  • If too thick, try adding water or juice from 1/2 lime.



Breaking Free Of Breakfast Box

low carb breakfast without eggs

I love eggs but need more variety for my low carb breakfast. Time to rethink what to eat in the morning. (Image: koko-tewan and

I’m trying to come up with low carb breakfast ideas that don’t include eggs. Don’t get me wrong I love eggs. It’s just they’re on the menu nearly every morning. It seems like the main ingredient for the most important meal of the day include eggs — Omelets, quiches, fritters.

I am eggless on my weight training days. I need to carb up for those workouts so a bowl of Kashi GoLean works. If not Kashi then I’m eating steel-cut oatmeal or Greek yogurt with fruit. Yummy and a nice break.

But for non-weight training days I need something low carb, high protein. So no grains.

I think I need to break free of the breakfast mindset. Who says you can’t eat a 3-bean chili in the morning? Or a grilled chicken salad?

I checked out a couple of paleo sites, but nearly all recipes called for eggs. However some ideas intrigued me, like soup or making a BLT sandwiched between slices of bell pepper instead of bread.

I did find a recipe for grain salad with blueberries and hazelnuts, thinking it would add more variety when I do my muscle workouts. But when I ran the numbers the net carb count, 46g, was too high. Heck, that’s nearly half my carbs on my weight training days.  I’m still adding the recipe in my database. It looks tasty.

How do you break free from eggs in the morning?

Quinoa Salad Recipe

quinoa salad, workouts, weight loss, healthy eating

You know a dish is healthy when it has lots of colors! This easy to make quinoa salad is perfect for your post-muscle workouts.

My trainer gave me a recipe for quinoa salad that I tried out today. I love quinoa but completely cut it out of my low carb diet. Thanks to my new weight training regimen, I can add this wonderful grain back into my food rotation.

There are lots of variations on quinoa salads. This particular one is very tasty and provides the perfect amount of healthy carbs for your post-muscle workout. I added 3 ounces of skinless chicken breast on the side to up the protein.

The recipe below calls for 1/2 C uncooked quinoa, yielding 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa. Since the recipe is a single serving, I’m only using 1/2 C of cooked quinoa and reserving the rest for later in the week.

Quinoa Salad
Net Carbs: 20g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6
Servings: 1


  • 1/2 C quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 C Water
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 C Cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 C Red onion, diced
  • 1/2 C Tomato, Roma, seeded and diced
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed
  • 1 oz Fat free feta
  • 1 Tbsp. Lite balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 C Cilantro, finely chopped


  • Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear, drain and transfer to a medium pot. Add 1 cup of water and 1/4 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork.
  • Scoop out 1/2 C of cooked quinoa into a bowl and add cucumber, red onion, tomato, flaxseed, fat free feta, cilantro and mix.
  • Pour dressing over and toss briefly to evenly distribute it.

Curried Egg Salad Recipe

Sometimes I get the hankering for egg salad. Don’t know why, but I do. Here’s an Atkins’ recipe that combines two of my husband’s loves – eggs salad and curry.  It’s pretty easy to make and filling. I like serving it over a bed of mixed greens or baby spinach. I’m sure it’s good on bread too for you grain eaters.

Curried Egg Salad
Net Carbs: 4.3
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 9
Makes 4 (3/4-cup servings)


  • 1 Dozen large hard-boiled eggs
  • ½ C low carb mayonnaise
  • ¼ C finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Tsp. salt
  • ½ Tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  • Peel and halve the eggs. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Using a fork, mash the yolks. Finley chop the whites.
  • Combine egg yolks, mayo, onion, parsley, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Gently fold in the egg whites.
  • Serve right away over 2 C mixed greens refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

SuggestionTry adding a few slices of avocado to the salad.  Yum!

Warm Chicken-Pesto Salad

Pesto is just yummy. Pesto-Chicken Salad is even yummier! Image courtesy of  zole4 and

Pesto is just yummy. Pesto-Chicken Salad is even yummier! Image courtesy of zole4 and

I love this recipe. However, with fall weather loudly knocking at my door, I’m making this tonight, but trying a hot version. Oh yeah, baby.

Warm Chicken-Pesto Salad
Net Carbs: 2.8g
WW PointsPlus: 6
Makes 4 servings (Note: Serving size of chicken pesto mix = 1/2C)

2C chopped cooked chicken (leftovers work wonders here!), remove skin and any fat
1 celery stalk, trimmed and finely chopped
1/3C mayonnaise with Olive Oil
1/3C finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. pesto (recipe below or you can use store pesto)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8C baby spinach

Combine celery, mayo, onion, parsley, pesto, salt and pepper in a bowl.  If using freshly cooked chicken, chop chicken while it is still warm and toss into bowl and mix.  Otherwise, warm chicken to desired temperature in a microwave on medium heat for 1-2 minutes; transfer to bowl and mix. Serve immediately on top of baby spinach. Eat up.

Lemon-Basil Pesto
Net Carbs: 0.5
WW Points Plus: 3
Yields 2 cups of pesto
Serving Size: 2 tbsp/serving

2C basil leaves, packed
½C extra virgin olive oil
¼C pine nuts
1/2C grated parmesan cheese
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp lemon zest, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Combine basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic and zest in a food processor; and slowly add in the olive oil during blending. Blend until desired texture. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. To freeze, it’s best to divide it into smaller portions so you don’t have to defrost the entire batch. Hint: You can freeze in ice cube trays and then store the “cubes” in freezer bags.