Wednesday, December 19, 2012


It's definitely a day for lots of tea and soup. It's super cold out (for San Diego at least) AND I'm sick... :( I was wondering why I had no energy, for what seemed like no reason, the past few days... Makes sense now.

I'm still at work today and Souplantation's soup sounded perfect! Right now, their Asian Ginger Broth is back and I LOOOVE it. It's so yummy and gingery and only 50 calories per cup! I got a large soup to-go and had them add tofu, mushrooms, and green onion to make the soup a little more filling. Comes out to only about 150 calories!!! And soup is always super comforting when its cold and you're sick :)

For the rest of the day at work, I'll be drinking a RIDICULOUS amount of water and snacking on a whole bunch of yummy, little clementines I happened to bring in to work today - perfect because I need that vitamin C!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ultimate Umami Salmon


Take a salmon fillet and, using a silicone brush, lightly brush on a thin layer of soy sauce then a thin layer of sesame oil on to the salmon. Then spread a thin layer of miso paste on to the fillet with a knife or the back of a spoon. Make a furikake crust by mixing some furikake with a tiny bit of canola oil in a bowl to just lightly moisten. Furikake is a Japanese rice seasoning that is usually made up of seaweed and sesame seeds. Sometimes it will have some other dehydrated things to add flavor (I think the kind I used also had some tiny pieces of dehydrated carrot, sweet potato, and a few other things). Basically... Furikake is AWESOME. Anyways... continuing.... take your furikake "crust" and press in to the to of the salmon then bake as you would with any normal salmon fillet! So easy and quick, but soooo yummy.

Carne Asada and Grilled Veggies

This is from a little while ago, but I thought I would post.... I've actually cut out all meat (except for fish) since then so this is definitely an old post...

I made some grilled carne asada and veggies a few weekends ago to take advantage of hanging outside in the last of San Diego's warm weather. YES, I know I'm a wimp when it comes to weather... It's 62 degrees F outside right now and I'm dying... The last couple mornings have been THE WORST getting out of bed with my heated blanket or out of the nice hot shower... Mornings have been about mid-50s... Don't hate me... I've lived in coastal San Diego most of my life and don't handle anything outside of the range of 73-78 degrees very well... My house doesn't have central AC or heater (well we have a heater but it doesn't really work and we've never really cared) because we rarely ever need it... Until this year.. OH MAN this year sucked for weather in San Diego...
High is FIFTY EIGHT for Thursday and Friday??!? Oh man.... How am I going to handle this...

ANYWAYS.... getting off topic... I chose flank steak for my carne asada because it's a nice healthy cut of beef that handles marinades very well. Carne asada marinade has a lot of acid, so it needs a cut of meat that can hold up to it without getting too mushy. Also flank steak just has great flavor and can have a great texture also if it's marinated well. Flank steak and carne asada marinade are perfect for each other!

I like following Tyler Florence's carne asada recipe with my own adaptions:

Here is his Mojo recipe (carne asada marinade) with my own twist:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • zest from 2 limes
  • zest from 1 orange
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • chili flakes
"In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Toss thoroughly. Let it sit for 15 minutes hour to allow the flavors to marry."
  • Add chili powder, cumin, chili flakes, salt and pepper to suit your own taste preferences. Feel free to taste the marinade to adjust seasonings as long as it hasn't touched any raw meat yet! I usually add about a nice big tablespoon of chili powder, a few teaspoons of cumin, and a pinch of chili flakes just because I love cumin and spice.
Then marinate your flank steak with this!! Put the steak and marinade in a large ziploc bag to marinate in the fridge for 1-8 hours - turn bag over and massage in to meat once or twice during it's marinating time.

Marinating flank steak!

"Grill (or broil) the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare." I like to baste mine with the marinade as I'm grilling. This way I can spoon some of that yummy garlic, zest, jalapeno, and cilantro chunks on to the steak and let it form a nice little flavorful crust. "Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal."

No matter how good this looks, don't touch it until you've given it time to rest so you don't lose all those delicious juices!

Now time for the veggies!! I pretty much took a bunch of veggies I happened to already have at home, seasoned them up, then grilled them.
Delicious healthy veggies

I had sliced white onions, green onions, broccoli, red bell pepper, and jicama. I squeezed some lime juice over all of them, sprinkled some cumin, chili powder, lemon peper, salt, and black pepper, then drizzled everything with a little olive oil.

Raw veggies seasoned up!

For grilling veggies (or other small things), it's nice to use a grill pan, so that your food is able to drain any liquids that come out in the cooking process and can get a nice char without losing your food to the barbeque by them falling through the wide grill grates... so sad when that happens!

I really like this grill pan because it has three different textures: one section with holes, so that liquid can drain through and everything can get a nice char from the direct heat by the flame; a crimped section if you still want to drain the juices, but don't want direct heat from the flame; and a completely flat section if you want to keep the moisture or for tiny things (like finely chopped garlic or onion).

I like to took advantage of the different grill sections to accommodate for different cooking times for each vegetable. First I cooked the broccoli over the section with the holes, then moved them over to the half with no holes to stay warm as I cooked the jicama. Then moved the jicama over with the broccoli and continued in the same pattern with white onions, bell pepper, and green onions.

Finished grilled veggies all mixed together

Final plated dish!

Plate the sliced carne asada and grilled veggies and finish with some fresh chopped cilantro and a final squeeze of lime juice. I had mine with Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere - one of my fav wines that is easy to find anywhere and isn't too expensive ($8 per bottle). This wine has a nice body and some spice that complements spicy steak very well! I also like that it has notes of chocolate and lot of berries in it, so when I don't finish the bottle with my dinner, it still goes well with some dark chocolate for dessert!

Today's lunch

Mostly leftovers from a Christmas party this weekend...

- a little bit of leftover tempeh that was marinated in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and lots of curry powder then grilled
- a GIANT tupperware full of raw veggies (jicama, cucumber, bell peppers, and celery) and a little bit of Trader Joe's Spinach Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
- part-skim mozzarella string cheese

Last night's quick, yummy, and healthy (but ugly) dinner

Monday nights are one of my crazy nights... I'll usually leave work around 6, get home around 6:30 or 6:40, then have and about an hour to cook a quick dinner, eat, change my clothes,  and pack up stuff for the night and the next day before I have to leave for Taiko practice downtown for the night (my boyfriend lives close by my taiko practice, so I pretty much always stay with him Monday nights and need to pack up clothes for work the next day).

I like to always have some quick, partially prepared healthy foods on hand for nights like this (very often...).

For last night's random quick dinner, I needed a really filling meal with lots of protein and complex carbs to get me through the next few hours of working out at taiko practice. I was also pretty hungry from lunch because I only had miso soup and a salad that wasn't very big with vinaigrette and no protein for lunch. So when I got home, I quickly microwaved a whole sweet potato and topped it with a little bit of Smart Balance Light with Flaxseed, salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. I had that with a veggie burger I pulled out of the freezer and cooked (I found some veggie burgers that were made of veggies and all whole grains!) topped with whole grain mustard, vegetarian bacon, and an over-easy egg. Dinner completely done in less than 10 minutes!

Because veggies are super important for you, I snacked on a leftover veggie plate I put together for a party this weekend with some Trader Joe's Spinach Kale Greek Yogurt Dip while I was cooking. I didn't eat this whole plate though... haha!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Breakfast at Work!

Breakfast time! Half a grapefruit, plain nonfat greek yogurt with fiber (I added vanilla extract, stevia, and pumpkin pie spice to flavor), and a skinny peppermint mocha :)

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"AMAAAZING dinner tonight mmmmm. Spaghetti squash puttanesca, roasted fennel, and a salad of arugula, lemon, truffle oil, and parmaggiano reggiano. And some yummy russian river pinot noir. @88rj888 missed out tonight bc he wanted to watch the laker game... he thought watching the game would be better than eating an awesome gourmet dinner... And they lost again anyways so not worth it... HA!"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"I LOVE relaxing cooking nights!! Anchovies, kalamata olives, capers, chili flakes, and a glass of wine (for me) make an AWESOME puttanesca sauce. Hahaha this wine is GOOD!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"My favorite time of year (except that it's so freakin cold) bc I get to open up a fresh box of my fav tea and inhale its deliciousness"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Mmmmm kumquats!! Like healthy sour candy!!"

My love-hate relationship with Trader Joe's

Did a little lunch time Trader Joe's shopping to grab just a few things I needed for dinner tonight... Ended up spending almost $60... I love AND hate you Trader Joe's...

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"A couple flavors I love (green tea, ginger, and the combo of chocolate and orange) all combined in to one tea! Mmmm"