Published on 19 July, 2014, by

GymTato sweet potatoe, chicken, prosciutto, spinach and tahini spread When you’re working out, you want the right combination of energy to see you through. Bodybuilders tend to drink a lot of protein shakes and eat a LOT of baked chicken and sweet potatoes. This is because they want lean muscle — not extra fat. With grains off-limits and sugar a no-no, many Paleo enthusiasts avidly participating in the cross-fit craze, also turn to their fair share of chicken and sweet potatoes. In fact, so do other low carb dieters like diabetics, “It girl” actresses, and generally anyone with belly fat stores (NOTE: Having excess belly fat puts you at a greater risk for health issues and may be a sign of estrogen dominance or insulin resistance.)

Workout Cravings

If you’re watching your carb intake while kicking up your exercise, you can end up feeling unsatisfied and find yourself hitting a wall of cravings. This recipe will give you the protein, energy, fat and nutrients your body needs to fuel it and your exercise regimen without weighing you down — and it tastes great! It’s one of our favorite lunches these days here at the house, not only because it tastes great but because it’s fairly quick to assemble (once you have the potatoes baked.) I bake my sweet potatoes in the toaster oven, wrapped in foil at 425 degrees — this cooks them faster then in the traditional oven (about half the time for a medium yam or sweet potato.) If you’d like you could bake up a bunch of taters on a Sunday, for the week and just reheat them when you’re ready to fill for a hot lunch or quick dinner. You can also use the filling in other potatoes like russet, Yukon Gold or purple — though the yam and sweet potato varieties are better for you.

GymKata karate and gymnastics hybridGymTato & GymKata: An high energy pairing

Since I’m always thinking about pairing food with movies, I envision pairing this dish with a good bodybuilding competition, an 80s exercise equipment infomercial, or a craptastic athletic combo movie like GymKata, where our protagonist, three-time World Gymnastic Champion and US Government spy, Kurt Thomas’ non-stop gymnastic action is bested only by his sweet karate moves. Our hero triumphs over the many assassins sent to stop him and completes his mission. How does he do it? As the trailer says with, “his only weapon — himself. And that’s ALL-HE-NEEDS.” I like to think Kurt fueled up before he headed out for a day of gymnastics + karate, dodging assassins and saving the world by popping one of these awesome taters in his gullet.

Chicken, Prosciutto, Spinach & Tahini Stuffed Sweet Potato: GymTato

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams
  • 1, 6 oz organic chicken breast
  • 3 pieces of prosciutto
  • Half a bunch or bag of organic of spinach
  • 1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Tahini Spread
  • 1Tbsp olive oil + some olive oil spray
  • 1/8 tsp or less of garlic powder

Bake 2 medium sized sweet potatoes or yams until soft inside (this takes about 20 mins in my toaster oven.) Bake one, 6 oz chicken breast which has been coated with olive oil (either by rubbing it on by hand or spraying it on with an oil pump and spray like Misto or trader Joe’s Olive Oil in spray can) and a sprinkling of garlic powder, until juices run clear and it’s cooked through. Fry 3 pieces of prosciutto in a skillet with a few drops of olive oil until crisp. Flash wilt half a bunch of spinach in the skillet you cooked the prosciutto in with 2 tsp of olive oil (cooking it in the same pan as your prosciutto will deglaze the pans of all the yummy flavor left over by the prosciutto.) Sweet potato stuffed with chicken, spinach, prosciutto and Tahini Once all the ingredients are done — it’s time to assemble:  I like to use a pair of poultry shears for this part but you can roughly tear or cut these ingredients with a knife as well. Cut the chicken and prosciutto into small bite-sized pieces and put all together in a bowl with the spinach, then add 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s (or whatever brand you like) Tahini spread. Make sure it’s a Tahini spread and not just Tahini — as the spread contains garlic and lemon as well, giving it a lovely balanced flavor than is a bit different than plain Tahini. Mix together and top your split potatoes equitably with the final mixed ingredients. The result is a creamy, hearty but not heavy — baked, stuffed potato that is packed with protein, vitamin A and C and has an almost creamy, cheesy flavor to it — without the cheese — that will fuel the rest of your day without needlessly spiking your blood sugar. Enjoy! (And if you get the chance, eat it while watching the 80s hybrid martial arts movie, GymKata.)

Nutrition Facts courtesy of My Fitness Pal
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 384
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19 g 29 %
Saturated Fat 4 g 21 %
Monounsaturated Fat 8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 66 mg 22 %
Sodium 737 mg 31 %
Potassium 824 mg 24 %
Total Carbohydrate 24 g 8 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 15 %
Sugars 6 g
Protein 26 g 53 %
Vitamin A 153 %
Vitamin C 59 %
Calcium 5 %
Iron 12 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
Published on 25 June, 2014, by

Thai Chicken Larb recipeIn the summer, we eat lighter, fresher, brighter tasting foods. Seasonal eating for summer is a wonderful way to take pleasure in the moment and to give your body a break from so much of the rich heaviness that brings comfort in the cold in winter. There are many dishes I like to make and equate instantly with summer (like zucchini patties topped with lime, greek yogurt and mint; chicken and lamb kebabs; BBQ short ribs; grilled flank steak served with Fuul topped with diced tomato and feta, sliced avocado, and corn, red pepper and jalapeno; and watermelon, cucumber and red onion salad with orange champagne vinaigrette — mmmmm, soooo many!) But one of my favorites is Thai Larb Salad. (more…)

Published on 8 February, 2014, by

IMG_1248.jpgSome people hate Valentine’s Day.

I’m not one of them. For someone like me, whose idea of religion consists of food and love, it’s the perfect kind of holiday. In fact, Valentine’s Day is my second favorite holiday — right after Thanksgiving. And yes, I understand it’s corporate derived to get you to buy loads of chocolate, wine, flowers and jewelry — but like anything, I think Valentine’s Day is what you make of it.

I like to make it about cooking and love — MeatLove. (more…)

Published on 27 January, 2014, by

Creamy Avocado Dressing

I like homemade salad dressings because you get to control the amount of sweet, heat, or spice to your liking. But I also like them because you can keep it simple, without all the corn syrup and ingredients you can’t pronounce, let alone identify in a food line-up (and therefore should not be put into your body. (more…)

Published on 22 December, 2013, by
Easy Peasy Holiday Chocolate Pie

Easy Peasy Holiday Chocolate Pie


There are some things in this life that never disappoint — chocolate is one of them. During the holidays, I usually go a little off the rails, especially when it comes to chocolate and chocolate pie is a fave. In fact, it was the one thing I craved so much when I was preggers (besides steak tacos) that I actually ate half a pie — only once (don’t judge, if you check the conversion sheet, every girl is auto-allowed half a pie when she’s pregnant.) This year for Christmas, we’re at my MIL’s house in Maryland (it was snowing when we got here but now it’s in the 70s — go figure!) and we’re headed to my SIL’s house tonight for a little family gathering around the backyard fire pit. (more…)

Published on 30 November, 2013, by

Every year, I try to put together a holiday gift list or two for foodies and cooks everywhere. It should be noted that I’m not super big on gadgetry (your cook may be) so my lists reflect more the ingredients, cookbooks and food inspiration that my foodie friends and I enjoy. Today’s list is all about a few great new cookbooks and guides I’m looking forward to this season. (more…)

Published on 25 September, 2013, by

300 sandwichesToday my Facebook feed has been crammed with people chattering about and linking to The New York Post’s outing of one of their own, as the blogger behind the controversial The blogger is freelance stringer, Stephanie Smith, about whom the internet is all abuzz trying to decide how to categorize her and her so-called 1950′s approach to hooking a man (“the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”)

Is she a maligned beauty desperate to prove her worth through the art of cooking, er, uh, well sandwich making (can we really call it cooking?) to a man dangling the prospect of marriage? Or is she just a playful partner attempting to match her man’s sarcastic pokes by taking it to new hilarious heights in a very public forum? (more…)

Published on 11 June, 2013, by



You may or may not have noticed that things have been changing a bit around here. That’s because I found myself getting bored with the same old, same old happening in the world of food blogging. I love to cook and I love to write — so food blogging is a given but when I started this blog I had HUGE ideas about what it would house and cover, how I would approach the recipes and the site. But as I moved through the process, day-by-day and week by-week, taking opportunities as they came, I found myself moving away from those plans into others territories, some I liked and others — I most definitely did not. As John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

So I took a break — no new posts since October and over the course of that time, I learned a lot about myself — about what I want for the blog and what I don’t. (more…)

Published on 28 October, 2012, by

Hey ya! Groovy Readers;

I’ve missed you all. After a horrific month of ridiculous medical issues for the whole fam (my sweet toddler even had pneumonia!) and a very messy transfer from to fully hosted (My top links got hacked and I lost a ton of READERS due to rerouting issues!! YIKES!!!) I am now back on track and so is the blog.

I hope you haven’t forsaken me.

So to kick things off in style, I have a giveaway in appreciation of all of you that have stuck by me and continued to check  back for new posts. (more…)

Published on 28 September, 2012, by

Ready for a taste of fall’s bounty

A Taste for Fall

Fall is beginning its descent all across the country. Here in Portland, it’s not coming fast enough for me. I’m ready for it to kick into high gear — maybe even wanting to force it a little before its true time.

As a fall baby, I’ve always had a great affinity for my birth season. Even in the midst of a 80 degree day, I can feel myself wanting to bake more. (I’m working on perfecting a super-moist, gluten-free pumpkin cream cheese muffin with candied pepitas right now. Look for it here on the blog soon!) (more…)