A Cult Classic From Hanoi: Cha Ca La Vong

There is a restaurant in Hanoi that has a one-dish menu. Imagine that, a restaurant that serves just one thing! The restaurant is called Cha Ca La Vong 14 Cha Ca, Hoan Kiem; 84-4-3825-3929, which also happens to be the name of the classic fish dish that they serve. This tiny joint is still run by the descendants of the dish’s creator, and has been cooking Cha Ca La Vong for over 100 years.
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Sausages, Mushrooms and Marsala Cream Sauce

Simple is good right? This pasta recipe is one of those special meals that’s easy to pull together on a weeknight for the fam or to impress at a dinner party. It’s both rustic and classy, and can simply serve two or a big crowd with gusto! Robust sausages and mushrooms envelop in a butter cream sauce and a hearty splash of Marsala marries the flavors together.
Continue reading “Sausages, Mushrooms and Marsala Cream Sauce”

The King of Salads: Hail Caesar!

When you’ve dragged yourself from the dredges of winter and you feel the first rays of sunshine warm your cheeks or catch a flutter of a breeze accented with the grass clippings, you know it’s the perfect time to make a big salad for dinner. Keep Reading!

Porchetta Pork Tenderloin

If I didn’t have your attention at “porchetta”, then you’ve got to keep reading. Go ahead, drool over the photos and imagine this succulent and flavourful pork tenderloin disguised as a laboriously prepped porchetta coming out of your oven in 45 minutes or less. Keep Reading!

Not Your Grandma’s Casserole: 29 Modern Casserole Recipes

If you can fit it all in one dish, call it a casserole. The beloved retro dinner that touched the hearts of housewives across America is back in a big way. We have 29 revamped one-pot meals that will not only have your taste buds reeling for more, but they’ll save you time and effort too. Keep Reading!

19 Easy Spanish Recipes to Throw the Best Tapas Party Ever

Throwing a party and you’re the chef? What host wants to spend the entire night in the kitchen? With tapas, go ahead; mingle with your guests, toss the stylish apron aside and relax! Keep Reading!

Take Polenta To The Next Level With Two New Recipes

I just had one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments! Why not polenta? It’s such a versatile grain that can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! Commonly known as a boiled porridge made from cornmeal you would be surprised at the many things you can do with a pot of hot, creamy, cheesy, corn-studded polenta.

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Meal Plan: Re-Energize and Re-Boot

Here is your She Does Fitness Meal Plan to help keep you on track, inspire you with healthy eats or simply as a tool for you new ideas and healthy recipes… ’cause who doesn’t love that?!

When it comes to lifestyle changes like healthy eating it’s important to remember this: If you don’t like it don’t eat it. 

A common mistake people make is trying to eat foods that they don’t really like and if you do that, you are setting yourself up for failure. Think of it this way, if you don’t like kale and you packed a big ‘ole kale salad for lunch, chances are you’re not going to enjoy it and you’ll easily gravitate towards the office donuts instead!
So, don’t do that!
Plan ahead, keep some go-to recipes in your arsenal and healthy eating will become a no-brainer! 

(Click here to view or print)

Baked Oatmeal Cup (Makes 12) Freeze leftovers for the next week

5 Tips For Meal Planning Success

So, you want to eat healthy and meal plan like a pro?

Don’t fail before you even begin! Spending time each week searching for recipes, making list after list of ingredients and groceries, getting to the store and prepping for the week ahead is about as exhausting as writing this run-on sentence… BUT it’s worth it.

Here is why: Anything you begin, a new job, a new family, a fitness goal etc. does not come easy, you struggle every day with hitting sales goals, waking up in the middle of the night with a hungry baby, working out once a day, saying no to office donuts… You get the picture, life is tough but, once you get your groove and understand how to NOT overcomplicate the process, all of that hard work begins to pay off. Soon you’ll find yourself meal planning and eating clean without even thinking about it.
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Consistency is key, give anything about 21 days (this is the magic number that science has come up with) and you’ll form a habit. This means doing that one thing EVERY DAY for 21 days, no cheats, no skips and no tomorrows. Meal plan every day for 21 days and you’ll become a pro!

Follow these tips for meal planning success:
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1. Get Inspired, Gather Recipes: Browse blogs and websites for ANYTHING that looks delicious and sticks to your clean eating goals. Store these recipes and don’t waste time or complicate things. I use Pinterest to store my faves because it’s visual and fast. Another option is Evernote For Food a quick way to grab recipes from the web on any device and create a cookbook, grocery list and meal plan. I’m also known for marking up cookbooks with sticky notes. Hey! whatever works.
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 Keep a Food Diary: Overwhelmed with the task of creating delicious, healthy and easy-to-execute meals for your household every day? You may want to start keeping a food diary. This habit can take away the headache of meal planning at the last minute. By recording meals that were definitely keepers you will have a go-to reference of stand-by meals that will make grocery shopping and meal planning much easier.
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3. Start a Calendar: You’ve got to write it down. Choose a method that works for you, whether that be a chalkboard on the fridge, a journal, a Google Calendar or an Excel spreadsheet (like mine in the photo above.) Start filling in daily menus for the week with your clipped recipes or fave stand-by’s from your food diary.
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4. Choose a Shopping Day and Create a List: You have your menus organized in your calendar now it’s time to really get organized. The goal of a grocery list is to ensure that you buy only what you need and it gets you in and out of the store quickly. Have your recipes nearby, take inventory of what you have in the cupboard and fridge and maintain a master list of things you buy each week (yogurt, eggs, milk…) then add to your master list the items you need from your recipes. Next, organize your list by grocery store department to save time like this:

  • Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Milk, Yogurt and Cheese
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts
  • Fats, Oils and Sweets
  • Staples, Condiments and Miscellaneous Foods (spices, baking powder, etc.)
  • Health and Beauty Products
  • Household Items (laundry soap, light bulbs, etc.)

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5. Food Prep:
Think of this as an extension of grocery shopping. As soon as you return from the grocery store and begin unloading your bags, food prep begins. Wash and dry lettuce. Chop onions. Roast vegetables. Soak beans for tacos. Shred zucchini for zoodles. Stack up glass containers of prepped ingredients in the refrigerator and bask in your own awesome preparedness.

There you have it. Now go, get organized and become the meal planning warrior that you were meant to be!

Booze Cruise: Progressive Style

It’s that time of year, the hustle and bustle of holidays has fizzled away and winter has rooted itself, initiating a craving for warmth and revelry.

This year, instead of moping around the house in your Snuggie awaiting spring, pass the time with food, friends, and booze.

Get your neighbor’s onboard and reinvent the throwback booze cruise into a progressive stroll of cruising the neighborhood on foot.  Gallivant from house to house sampling delicacies and drinks at each stop.

Made-Men-Cocktail-Party-smallGive your booze cruise a theme.  Anything from a Mad Men style affair complete with classic cocktails and toothpick-skewered foods to a cultural soirée of global delights, think Brazilian caipirinhas and feijoada at one stop, moving onward to Italian Limoncello and gnocchi at another.  Satisfying the sweet tooth, a progressive chocolate hop would hit the spot.  Ignite the chill of winter with hot toddy’s and alcohol-infused cocoas while savoring decadent desserts at each house.

Those who have an affinity for cocktail shakers and martini glasses as opposed to ovens and mixers, simplify your progressive cruise to just booze, yet it’s advised for hosts to pair some sustenance to soak up that alcohol.

For vinophiles make each stop centered on a bottle of wine paired with cheese and crackers.  Take guests on a boozy jaunt down the bourbon trail having a snifterful at each stop, pairing caramel rich bourbon with chocolate and fruitier renditions with salty snacks.  Head south of the equator and channel palm trees and beaches with a tropical cocktail explosion, complete with fresh fruits and miniature cocktail umbrellas.

The possibilities are endless and the progressive booze cruise is a sure way to chase the winter blahs away.

What is a quality dinner?

I recently came across, Intimate Portraits of People Eating at Home: The Dinner in NY Project by Miho Aikawa.

 As a lover of people, food and photography I was interested in this project and I appreciate the thoughts/questions that floated through my mind when I saw it:

Are we connected to our food?  Do we take pleasure in eating?  How much time does one spend eating a meal?  I like eating with others compared to eating solo.  Effect of eating on the go compared to sitting at a table.  Do we value the ‘traditional’ dinner table anymore?  I feel fortunate to be able to eat cultured foods.  

I enjoy the simplicity and hectic-ness, the laughter and loneliness, the familiar and the unknown that weave through these photos.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s true, these stills capture a culture and reveal many aspects of people’s’ lives.

Aikawa is originally from Japan and currently resides and works as a freelance photographer in NYC.  Check out the artist’s statement and see the project in its entirety on her blog

All photos by Miho Aikawa