Whenever I see “puttanesca” on a menu, I think of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a movie starring Jim Carrey as “Count Olaf.” If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it – wonderfully creepy original soundtrack. According to IMDb, here is the synposis: “When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents’ vast fortune.”
In one scene, Count Olaf has his wretched friends over and demands that the children make a meal for his guests, using whatever is in the kitchen. The kitchen is absolutely barren, filled with not much more than cockroaches and rotting canned goods. Spotting some pasta in a drawer, the crafty oldest girl decides to make Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. Her smart brother quickly points out that puttanesca is the Italian word meaning “very few ingredients.”
I met this really cool chick at the cooking demo I did in Hoboken a couple weeks back. Like me, she’s a blogger. Unlike me, she’s a newlywed! Her blog, Life a la Wife, chronicles her adventures living with her new hubby! Alyssa loves to eat healthy, be active and live life to its fullest…. pretty positive vibes, right?
Naturally, I figured her readers would love an Inspiralized recipe. What better dish to create for Life a la Wife than a manly pasta that any husband (or boyfriend for that matter) will love? A great way to ease the “manly” man in your life into healthier pasta (Inspiralized pasta!) Read more about this recipe and why I decided to make it on Alyssa’s blog by clicking here. In the meantime, here it is…. a healthy spin on Chicken Parmesan!
It’s another Meatless Monday and what vegetable better to hold its own than the brussel sprout? For me, it was love at first sight. I will never truly understand why people dread these little guys. They’re so mysterious – are they a baby cabbage? Are they miniature heads of lettuce? They always keep me guessin’.
At least in the culinary scene here in NYC/NJ, they’ve become quite trendy. In the past two years or so, I’ve seen many more restaurants feature roasted brussel sprouts as side options or specials on their menus. Most recently, I’ve seen a lot of shaved brussel sprout salads or “hashes” flavored with chopped crunchy bacon.
Guess what? I was featured on Hoboken Mommies, a social networking website for moms in Hoboken, NJ. I wrote an article on making healthy meals for your kids. I know what you’re thinking “But you’re not a mother?” That’s alright – I have a mother, I have friends and family who are mothers, and most importantly, I know healthy eating. Plus, I’m a woman and therefore have a maternal instinct, doesn’t that count for something? You don’t have to be a parent to understand that it’s crucial that our children grow up eating a balanced diet, including plenty of heart-healthy veggies.
If you’ve been following my Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been spending some time with Jen from HobokenGirl (a Hoboken blog geared towards girls). So, what’s up with that? Well, besides the fact that she’s a cool Jersey chick with an adorable French bulldog pup named Pierre, her audience happens to be perfect for Inspiralized dishes – girls who to love to try new things!
On Tuesday, I went to the Downtown Hoboken Farmer’s Market and stocked up on zucchinis, corn and some fresh cracked wheat bread and headed over to her apartment to cook us dinner. Check out my Instagram and hers for some funny videos from the evening.
I’ve been meaning to make a kale pesto for a long time. I’m a huge lover of kale – I put it in everything: salads, omelettes, juices, smoothies and pastas, of course. I’ve even heard that kale pesto is the new basil pesto. Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but kale pesto is definitely a light, refreshing way to enjoy pasta – or anything, for that matter.
I’m leaving for Greece next Friday (eeeee!!!), so in mental preparation for that trip, I decided to add in some feta to the meatball mix. I’m so glad I did, it creates a salty deliciousness and a bit of moisture, since I opted not to use an egg (let’s try to keep our cholesterols at bay, alright?)
This whole eating meat again thing gets better and better each day. I’m taking it slowly – I think filet mignon will be the last thing I try, as I baby step into a carnivorous lifestyle (after my nearly 5 year hiatus.) Today’s baby step: cook with bacon.
Of course, I couldn’t just jump right into pork bacon. The next best thing? Turkey bacon! This leaner meat has a great smoky flavor just like regular bacon and feels lighter in your tummy and is of course – in the long run – easier on the hips. Pork bacon is very high in saturated fats, which raise your blood cholesterol levels and risk of cardiovascular disease.
WAIT! Before you run to the shelves to pick up turkey bacon, keep in mind that reading labels is essential when food shopping. Many turkey bacons lure customers in with packaging that shouts “low fat” and “low calorie,” but if you check the labels – it is often super high in sodium content and other suspicious additives. Just make sure that the turkey bacon you’re buying is low in sodium (around 180mg) and doesn’t contain nitrites or nitrates (additive used to preserve/cure meats). Heck, if you can’t find one that meats (hehe- get it? meats!) these requirements, just chug a giant Vitamin Water afterwards.