Coconut Mango Quinoa

So simple, so scrumptious!  Nothing quite like a perfectly ripe mango, and combining it with the flavor of coconut milk makes it even better!!  This is the perfect summer side dish for fresh fish or a grilled meal!

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Italian Shrimp Kabobs

Everything tastes better on a stick!  This meal is super yummy, but even better is that you can throw it together in the morning and then just toss it on the grill when you are ready to eat!  I am sure you can think of plenty of other delicious things to throw on the kebob, so be sure to let me know in the comments how you have modified it!


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Avocado Salsa Ahi Tuna Salad

If I am ever stuck for an idea for dinner, I know that Trader Joe’s will have a product that will inspire me.  I stumbled across their Avocado Salsa this week and decided that I just had to try it.  Wow, yum!  I could eat avocado on pretty much anything, so when I saw it turned into salsa I was delighted!  Don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you?  Use your favorite salsa instead!  Super easy, super fast, super yummy!!!


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Bacon Littleneck Clams

My entire house smells so good that I want to eat it.


Two hours after creating this dish, it still smells incredible. It makes me a bit bummed that the hubby and I ate it all down to the last drop of delicious molho (that’s Portuguese for scrumptious sauce).

I enjoyed this meal as is, while the hubby dipped some Portuguese bread into the molho. I know for sure that this would have possibly been the best meal ever if it was served over pasta…. Grrrr paleo! Good news is that I thoroughly enjoyed it, had no guilt, and enjoyed feeling satisfied instead of stuffed afterwards.

When shopping for little neck clams, the smaller the better. Our supermarket had fabulous looking little guys on sale this week, so I couldn’t resist. Actually, who am I kidding? I will probably hit them up again later this week and make the same exact thing again!
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Bruschetta Salmon

This meal was fabulous, but by far the best part of it was watching my beautiful nearly 9 month old house some salmon! This kid loves her fish! It really is incredible watching your little baby pick through the food on her tray to find the bits of salmon. She never ceases to amaze me!

This meal was super easy to grow together. I served it with a side of sautéed kale and it was super packed with nutrients!
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Quick and Simple Grilled Chicken

Some days just get away from you. Earlier this week, I had one of those days. It was 7:30, I was hungry, and there was raw chicken in the fridge with no dinner in sight. I threw this together in hopes that it would be good even though it didn’t spend time marinating. Wow, did I luck out! In 15 minutes, there was perfect (and scrumptious) chicken on the table! While it was grilling, I quickly sautéed up some asparagus and we had a delicious healthy meal in front of us!
1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
2 cloves garlic – minced
Salt & pepper

1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and mustard. Stir in garlic and salt & pepper to your liking. Toss chicken in and coat.
2. Grill for 5 minutes per side and enjoy paired with a sautéed veggie for a healthy meal!

Broiled Spicy Shrimp and Scallops

The hardest part of developing recipes if deciding which ingredients to use. Walking into the grocery store with no plan is not a fun task for me. I knew I had spinach at home that I wanted to use, and luckily that gave me some guidance. The seafood department was calling to me! I have a weakness for scallops and shrimp, so dinner jumped out at me! Super easy to prep, quick to cook, and delicious to eat! Serve it with a side of Perfect Sautéed Spinach, and you get an awesome healthy meal!!20141122-080332.jpg
1/2 pound bay scallops
1/2 pound shrimp – peeled, deveined, tail on
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Cayenne pepper to taste

1. Turn on broiler.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir shrimp and scallops in. Transfer to a broiler proof pan (I am afraid to use Pyrex in the broiler, so I used my brownie pan). Sprinkle cayenne pepper on top (I like it spicy so I went very generous).
3. Broil for 12 minutes or until seafood begins to slightly brown.

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I don’t know why brussel sprouts got their terrible reputation, but man do I love them! It’s funny, you make them for Thanksgiving one year and you totally find out that your family members are closet brussel sprout lovers! This recipe is so incredibly easy and is designed to cook in harmony with your turkey. Once the bird is out and resting, you give these little delectables a blast of heat to cruch them up. I will be making them as a part of my Teacher. Foodie. Athlete. Does Thanksgiving series… Will you?


3 10 oz. packages of brussel sprouts
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Lots of salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 325 (turkey roasting temperature).
2. In a large baking dish, mix all ingredients. I don’t usually use much salt in my cooking, but I do here!
3. Roast for 30 minutes (time it so that when the 30 mins are up, the bird comes out). Once the turkey is out of the oven, crank it up to 425 for 5 minutes to crisp up the outer leaves.
4. Serve and sit back knowing that you aren’t the only brussel sprout lover out there.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

When you do Thanksgiving for 14 people, you need to be sure to have more than enough mashed potatoes! No one wants to get gypped on their doggy bag! This recipe is so incredibly easy, and so worth it! Peel the potatoes whenever you have extra time and store them in a pot of water until ready to cook! Check what else I am up to on my Teacher. Foodie. Athlete. Does Thanksgiving post!

5 pounds red potatoes – peeled and halved
1 stick butter – cut into chunks
1 cup whole milk (feeling decadent, go for cream!)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow to cook for approximately 20 minutes or until tender.
2. Strain water from potatoes, and return to stove over medium-low heat. Add butter and milk to the potatoes and mash using a potato masher. I like to leave mine a bit lumpy. Stir occasionally until butter and milk are incorporated and hot.
3. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and serve while still piping hot!

Spiced Up Portuguese Cockles

My husband had been traveling through Korea and China on business for two weeks. Obviously, I was going to make whatever he wanted when he returned to welcome him home. Through Skype, I asked him what he was craving after eating deep fried everything in China. He said that everything I blogged while he was away looked so good and he was looking forward to anything healthy again. I then got him to narrow that down. He wanted cockles.

Mmmmmm cockles! My man is very lucky to have married a Portuguese girl! I grew up watching both my Vovo (grandmother) and mother cook incredible creations in the kitchen with such ease. These ladies never ever had to follow recipes. They would just create culinary masterpieces. I like to think that growing up exposed to this is what has instilled in me my love of cooking. Following in their footsteps, I don’t use recipes either…I create them.

I wish my Vovo were around to see my creations. She passed away in 1999, before I ever even fathomed that I would be blogging. I credit my love of cooking to those hours I spent watching her seamlessly make meals to feed our family.

Not all supermarkets and fish markets will have cockles. Quite frankly, I have no clue where to purchase them other than the Portuguese supermarket called Seabras. I am pretty sure that Seabras does not exist outside of New Jersey. If you can’t find cockles, this recipe would be delicious with any small clam. The smaller the better! Also, piri piri isn’t that readily accessible. I am slowly using up my supply that I got on our perfect honeymoon to the Mediterranean. Any chili powder would work as a substitution.

Without further ado, I bring you Spiced Up Portuguese Cockles!

2 pounds cockles – washed in cold water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion – chopped
5 cloves garlic – minced
2 red bell peppers – chopped
1 green bell pepper – chopped
1 cup white wine
1/4 tsp piri piri (not going to lie, I put much more in, but not everyone loves spicy food like we do!)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Over medium high heat, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic, and sauté while frequently stirring until onion is translucent and garlic is lightly browned.
2. Add peppers, and cook for about 5 minutes until very fragrant.
3. Add wine and piri piri. Allow to reduce for 5 more minutes.
4. Make sure that your molho (Portuguese term that could mean any type of sauce from meat drippings to gravy) is delicious by adding salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a slow boil.
5. Add cockles, stir, and cover. Cook while shaking it up ever few minutes. Once all cockles are open, you are ready to serve it piping hot with some delicious Portuguese bread on the side for dipping!
6. Enjoy to the very last bite! As you can see here, my hubby sure did: