Weight Loss Wednesday: Grilled Salmon with Leek Risotto

  • 1 medium leek, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 ounces salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon wedge (optional)


  1. In small saucepan melt butter. Cook leek, rice and garlic powder in butter over medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until leek is tender and rice is lightly toasted.
  2. Carefully add broth to saucepan. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, grill salmon on greased grill rack over medium coals for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, carefully turning once.
  4. Stir parsley and Parmesan cheese into rice. Spoon onto serving plate. Top with salmon.





Enjoy!  I’ll be making this tonight. 

Todays Recipe: Roasted Corn & Chicken Tostada


  • 1 (7-inch) whole wheat flour tortilla or flour tortilla
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil ( I use grape seed)
  • 4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream


  1. Lightly coat both sides of tortilla with cooking spray. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 400° F about 10 minutes or until crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, in small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray cook corn over medium-high heat for 1 to 3 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet. Set aside.
  3. In same small skillet heat oil. Add chicken, chili powder and cumin. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in salsa, beans and corn. Heat through.
  4. Place tortilla on serving plate. Top with lettuce, chicken mixture, cheese and sour cream. Serve immediately.




Credit:Special K Challenge Cookbook!

The Celtic Knot: Chicago

So I was in Chicago for a wedding this weekend and had the pleasure of attending the rehearsal dinner at Evanston’s local traditional Irish pub!   My cousin and I split a few things but I have to say everything was on point!




So  I didn’t get pics of everything BUT we had some amazing oysters, fantastic fish and chips, great calamari, a ploughman’s lunch and seriously the best cupcake i have EVER had!

The Celtic Knot’s Guinness Chocolate Cupcake with Baileys Frosting


If you find yourself in Evanston, IL or Liverpool where the cupcakes come from you MUST get one or 5!


Panko crusted Tilapia with Asian Infused Quinoa and String Beans!



Tilapia with Panko crust, broccoli and carrot quinoa & string beans!

1 Filet of Tilapia

1/2 cup skim milk/lactaid milk

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Handful of string beans

3 Garlic Cloves (diced or pressed)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to drizzle)

1 Cup of Quinoa

2 Cups of Water

1 Carrot ( peeled, washed and diced)

1 head of broccoli

1/4 cup Kikkoman Triple Ginger Teriyaki Sauce

1/4 cup Peanuts


Dip filet of tilapia into milk and then coat with panko, grill or bake to liking ( typically a 5 minute grill)

Cook quinoa on stove top- boil 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa, fluff after boil and let simmer, add raw carrots, broccoli and peanuts and combine.   Add 2/3 of the teriyaki sauce to the quinoa and stir. Serve hot or cold/warm.  

Steam String beans stove top or in microwave, combine with garlic and toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil until coated.  You can add sea salt and pepper if you want, I do not!






Way Back Wednesday: Beet, Carrot, Ginger Soup



Beet/Carrot/Ginger Soup

6 beets- washed & peeled

4 carrots- washed and peeled

1 inch chunk of fresh ginger

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Shred Beets, Carrots & Ginger in Food Processor, change over to saute pan and saute all with olive oil, salt pepper and any left over ginger.  (15 minutes-20 minutes)  Transfer all into the food processor and puree until a thick soup.   


Serve alone, with rice or with any kind of meat!


Throw Back Tuesday: Veggie Lasagna


So I start with one large container of skim ricotta cheese and add 1/2 a container of full fat ricotta, then I combine 2 egg yolks, 1 full cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 a cup of asiago or fontina cheese.   I add oregano, rosemary, salt and white pepper to taste,  I also add garlic powder.

Roast your eggplant which has been cut in 1/4 inch rounds and tossed with Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.  Roast on high heat in oven for about 10 minutes ( watch these carefully so they do not burn or over brown)  you want them to be soft but not soggy

ImageI then add my red peppers, onions, garlic, ( skip the green peppers,  I don’t love the way they come out) Garlic, Zucchini & Roasted Eggplant and let simmer in Olive Oil.   Cook until soft. Image

Assemble a layer of sauce, then spinach noodles, then veggies and then ricotta, repeat ( i usually get about 4 layers finishing with noodles. 


Top with a blend of Mozarella, Fontina, Parmesan and Asiago.  I usually over cheese and do about an inch of cheese ( you can do less)  Cook until perfectly browned and then serve HOT!




Re Boot Your Life!

Re Boot Your Life!

So this website was recommended by a co worker and I have to say I am totally crushing on it right now!   More juice recipes for a juicing fanatic!! Yes please!!   It’s definitely worth checking out! It may or may not be for you but I strongly recommend giving it a glance!


Thanks Amy!



Juice Up!

My Favorite Kale Salad

Raw Kale with Peanuts, Artichoke & Tomato Bruschetta and lemon
I am a huge Kale fanatic.  I try to eat at least two servings a day when possible and usually will have a juice on the way to work with kale in it! 

Funky Fresh Friday: Brussel Sprouts



Brussel Sprouts are by far one of my favorite veggies!  They are not everyone’s cup of tea however I will give you my recipe for some pretty darn good sprouts!


1LB of Brussel Sprouts (washed and halved)

1.5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Cloves of Garlic ( peeled and pressed)

1 yellow onion ( diced)

Sprinkle of brown sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste


Saute garlic and onion in olive oil until golden on low heat ( do not burn it) Add in brussel sprouts and turn up the heat to medium/high.  Once they start to crisp add in the brown sugar and resume sauteing for about another 5 minutes.  They SHOULD turn out a nice caramelized batch of deliciousness!


I will be making these tomorrow and will post pics!

Pair with chicken, fish, turkey, or steak!


Thirsty Throw Back Thursday: Pellegrini Vineyard

One of my absolute favorite things to do in the late spring/summer is visit Long Island Wineries!  As a follow up to last weeks Wino Wednesday post about laurel lake and their fabulous moscato.  Here is Pellegrini Vineyards!

Last summer one of my favorite experiences was heading on a winery day with my friend Molly and the guy I was seeing.  Just around lunchtime we had smartly packed a mini picnic and purchased 3 bottles of their 2010 East End Select BBQ Red ( $15 a bottle)  ( delicious, light, perfect with our cheese and light bites!) We sat on their great lawn and tanned, ate, drank and had a blast for a good 2-3 hours! We then were on our merry way to the next vineyard!

I will be putting together a Wino Weekend in the next few months so stay tuned for more Winery news!






Way Back Wednesday: Sweet Potato/Carrot Puree


My Mother’s Sweet Potato Carrot Puree


3 Sweet Potatoes

3 Carrots

2 cups Creme Fresh

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 tsp Paprika


Cook Sweet Potatoes & Carrots until soft, then puree in food processor.  Pre make Creme Fresh ( you can substitute sour cream if you must) Combine everything in food processor, then bake for 30 minutes on 250. 


Serve hot!  Goes GREAT with Thanksgiving dinner!

Breakfast Time!

So this morning was 1 eggwhite sprinkled with parmesan cheese, 2 stalks of raw kale with 1/4 cup of my lentil stoup on top ( i didn’t finish it all)   and a swirl of ketchup and sriracha mixed together!   I am in love with Wegmans Just Tea- the jasmine green tea is my favorite!  Teas Tea is also another favorite zero calorie tea! ImageImage

A good swift kick in your metabolisms A$$!


Please pardon the half eaten breakfast your seeing!  I couldn’t resist!  So this mornings breakfast was a “two egg” white “omelet” with a sprinkle of Asiago cheese with a combo of ketchup and sriracha!   If you are looking for a nice way to perk up your breakfast, kick your lazy metabolism into gear or just wake yourself up: Here it is!




Traveling Tuesdays!:Julia’s Indian Lentils


So I am currently having a complete love affair with lentils.  Growing up I shunned them like they were mushrooms ( I am highly allergic to mushrooms)   This is a bit of a simple recipe that I threw together last night.  It’s not quite a stew, it’s not quite a soup  so I call it Stoup!

Indian Spiced Roasted Lentil “stoup”

1 Package Green or Red Lentils (re-hydrate ahead of time overnight)

1 Can of San Marzano Whole Tomatoes (with Basil) in Juice ( when in season use4 fresh tomatoes)

5 cloves of garlic (sliced)

1/4 cup Grape Seed or Olive Oil

4 Carrots (diced)

1 Large Yellow Onion (diced)

1/2 TBSP Turmeric

1/2 TBSP Roasted Ground Cumin

1 TBPS Sriracha

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Water to thicken or thin

Optional:  Sweet Potato or Potato ( 3 diced)


Roast the lentils with garlic, carrots, potatoes and onion and oil in a wok for 5 minutes ( keep turning them and stirring so they do not burn) Once slightly browned and softer add tomatoes and juice plus a small amount of the water. Let simmer in the wok for another 5-10 minutes.  Transfer everything to your crock pot and cook on low. ( I cooked mine overnight for about 7 hours) 

I serve mine over uncooked kale, but you can do it over rice, pasta or salad









M.O.M ( Munching on monday)

Quinoa “Rice Bowl”


1/2 Cup Quinoa ( cooked in 1.5 cups water)

1.4 cup peanuts

1/2 cup broccoli florets (steamed slightly undercooked)

1 Carrot Shredded ( uncooked)

1/2 Cup Bean Sprouts 

1 half inch thick slice of tofu cut into cubes

2.5 Tablespoons Triple Ginger Teriyaki dressing ( I use Kikkoman’s- 15 Calories per TBLS


toss together to combine with dressing ( can be eaten hot or cold – i prefer luke warm)


Enjoy! Image


Greek Taverna

Greek Taverna

Greek Taverna

So I spent Saturday in Montclair NJ antiquing and shopping while occupying my friend Jane, while her fiance set up her surprise “re do” 30th birthday party. We had an amazing lunch at Greek Taverna on Bloomfield Avenue. We went a little overboard on the ordering but it was well worth it!

I have to say as someone who is a food snob its usually pretty hard to impress me with Greek Food, they absolutely knocked it out of the park.

So we split: An unreal Greek Salad ( picture included) Grilled Haloumi, Greek Taverna Chips ( eggplant and squash with skordalia) Keftedes ( I abstained from those) & Tzatziki ( amazing)

Continue reading

Moroccan Meatloaf with Moroccan Veggies

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ( grape seed will cut the fat down)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup pitted, very finely chopped green olives
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin,
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric,
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter (margarine for lower calorie)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

In a medium bowl, add the meat, 1 small onion, Add finely chopped garlic, panko, extra-virgin olive oil, the egg, the zest and most of the juice of lemons. Mix to combine. Add the olives, spices, a handful of parsley and a handful of mint. Combine well. Form the mixture into 4 individual rolls and bake on a parchment lined sheet pan until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter to a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat, whisk the flour into melted butter, and then add the Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock, the remaining lemon zest and juice, 1/4 cup honey, and salt and pepper, to taste. Slide the meat loaves into the sauce. (If the meat loaves are cold, tent with foil and gently reheat in low simmering sauce.) Once the meat loaves are warm, transfer them to a serving plate and raise the heat to high. As soon as the sauce becomes syrupy after 1 to 2 minutes, drizzle it over meat and serve.

I make Moroccan Veggies to go along with- this can be done with any combo of veggies, think carrots, eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, potato, tomato.  Saute in olive or grape seed oil, add salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, paprika, all space and nutmeg to taste.   Add mint and parsley at the end (sprinkle on top)


Funky Fresh Friday


Low Fat Veggie & Bean “Stir Fry”

This is a long standing favorite of mine


So I have a few variations on how I do this.  This particular one is a combo of sauteed onions, garlic, eggplants, broccoli, diced tomato, & cannelloni beans sprinkled with parsley, oregano, rosemary, a light drizzle of grape seed oil and the juice from diced tomatoes. You can add lean chicken or turkey for protein.  Occasionally if I want a thicker sauce I will add half a container of plain Greek strained yogurt ( I personally favor Chobani . I have used 1/4 of a cub of plain kefir which also works nicely!



Happy Friday!


Dieters, Beware: 5 Myths That Can Halt Weight Loss

Myth: Eating small portions, or “grazing,” throughout the day will help increase metabolism.

Modifying your food intake in this way won’t increase your metabolism. Though some people might find that eating smaller, frequent meals and snacks helps to control their appetite, making it easier to lose weight, others may experience the opposite effect.

“Some people tend to graze on high-fat, high-calorie foods, which would actually make them gain weight,” said Sara Stanner, a registered public health nutritionist and a member of the British Nutrition Foundation.

But “if you are sitting down for a meal, you are more likely to have lower energy foods such as vegetables sides and salads,” Stanner said. “In general, studies show that if you are trying to lose weight, the best approach is three planned meals and a couple of healthy snacks.”

Myth: Low-fat or fat-free food will have significantly fewer calories.

Just because a food is labeled as being low in fat does not necessarily mean it’s low in calories — because fat can be replaced by other nutrients that provide calories, such as protein, starch and sugar.

For example, according to a food guide published by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a small, low-fat blueberry muffin has 131 calories, while a regular blueberry muffin of the same size has 138 calories.

Eating low-fat foods will not automatically lead to weight loss, Stanner told MyHealthNewsDaily. This is especially true if you end up eating larger portions of low-fat foods.

Myth: Eating late in the evening will cause you to gain weight.

It’s not true that food consumed later in the evening will just sit there, unused, and automatically get converted into fat.

“You will gain weight if your total daily energy intake exceeds your energy expenditure, regardless of the timing of consuming these calories,” Stanner said. “Eating late at night, however, especially large meals, can cause digestive problems and that’s why it’s not recommended.”

Myth: A sports drink that is high in vitamins and nutrients is a healthier alternative to soda.

It’s easy to think of sports drinks as the healthy alternative at the vending machine, but that’s not always true. For example, a bottle of VitaminWater contains 13 grams of sugar and 50 calories per serving. However, each bottle contains 2.5 servings, so if you chug the whole bottle after a workout, you’ve taken in 125 calories. By comparison, one can of regular Coca-Cola has 140 calories.

“Sports drinks may contain a good supply of vitamins and minerals, but it can still be high in sugar and calories,” Stanner said. “And some of the added vitamins and minerals may also not be required if you are already eating a healthy diet.”

Myth: A big breakfast will keep you from eating too much later in the day.

It’s a bad idea to skip breakfast because you’re more likely to reach for extra morning snacks — but this doesn’t mean a big breakfast is good idea either. A big breakfast does not keep you from being hungrier later in the day. Worse yet, it can pile on too much extra calories.

A German study of 280 obese and 100 normal-weight people, published this month in the Nutrition Journal, found that eating a big breakfast can tack on an extra 400 calories. Yet we typically don’t balance out this morning calorie infusion by eating less later —breakfast calories had little or no effect on the number of calories consumed during the rest of the day, the researchers found.

Traveling Thursday: Cassata Siciliana



The traditional cassata siciliana consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese, candied peel, and a chocolate or vanilla filling similar to cannoli cream. It is covered with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs. The cassata is finally topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily.

The Cassatella di Sant’Agata —colloquially named Minni di Vergini, meaning “virgin breasts”—is a similar dessert, but made in a smaller, personal-serving size, with a candied cherry on top, and often a specifically green-coloured marzipan. It is typically made in Catania for the festival of Saint Agatha. The allusion to the female breast relates the specific torture Saint Agatha faced as a Catholic martyr.


My family in Genova Italy has this every time I visit them! It is truly one of my favorite desserts and to this day I have not found a US version that I can tolerate!  



My Challenge To YOU: Find me the best cassata cake around- remember this is a seasonal dessert!

Wino Wednesday!

In honor of the rare 60-65 degree weather we are currently having, here’s my ode to last summer!  One of my favorite wines is from this Local Vineyard! If you find yourself in Long Island Wine Country ( the north fork)  you MUST stop over at Laurel Lake and try their Moscato!  Now I am not typically a white wine drinker, however I bought a few bottles when I left! It’s delicious without being overpoweringly sweet or tangy!





Hey There Food Lovers!

So as I sit at my desk at work mulling over my options for lunch as I woke up WAY to late to make my normal brown rice bowl or salad, my options seem eh, I was reading a friends blog and loving it and she suggested, hey you know you post all these pics and recipes on your facebook, why not mass share!  Thus a “star” was born!  Here she is:

Jersey Girl Epicure

So I come from a food & beverage background with a family full of culinary wiz’s ( and maybe some who think they are)  I have a passion for the culinary arts and love to share my thoughts and ideas!  Over the next year or so  I’ll be sharing most (if not all) of the foods I make and some of the recipes  ( hey a girl’s gotta have her secrets)as well as some funny anecdotes and findings along the way!

I’ll be featuring articles and interviews with different food industry and nutrition industry analysts, experts and fellow food & beverage lovers and appreciate all of your feedback!

What Jersey Girl Epicure Isn’t: A forum for judgement, nastiness, hatred or snobbery!

What Jersey Girl Epicure IS:  A forum to share recipes, ideas, thoughts and forums all centered around FOOD & Beverage and the things we all love about them!

Happy Blogging & Eating!


Way Back Wednesday!


Baked Chicken breasts with homemade pesto ( basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper) and Asiago Cheese topping! Side dish was roasted squash in a lemon scented olive oil sprinkled with sea salt and white pepper!


I made this for a dinner party with my family.  It was a raging success and I’m definitely due to make this again!