Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fajita Chicken Soup

Everything in life happens for a reason they say.... sometimes it's funny how things in life work out and how some things in life don't work out. The universe definitely works in mysterious ways. 5 years ago I auditioned for Masterchef and although I didn't make it on the show at that time, it is not because I didn't deserve to be on there, but because everything happens for a reason. 

Never in a million years did I think I would be inspiring my fellow teammates with Arbonne with my cooking and inspiring others. I am so blessed that Arbonne found me and the amazing people that came along with it. Arbonne came to me at a time that was just right. It was at a time where I was struggling with myself emotionally and I needed to once again find that happy me that had been lost for so long. Within a month of starting with this amazing company, my husband could see how much I was turning back into the woman that he fell in love with. The woman who lost herself emotionally was coming back to him and it was all because of Arbonne and the amazing team that came with it.  

As I came out of my shell, I kind of half did the 30 day challenge by doing Shakes, Fizzies and doing Keto thinking that my digestion issues wouldn't act up, but after about 60 days of Keto, my body said "STOP EATING DAIRY!!!!" and I started getting super sick when I had dairy, so I immediately had to cut it out, so Jack and I decided to take the plunge and go full force with the Arbonne 30 days to Healthy Living and it's been a blessing for my digestion and so fun in the kitchen for me. 

I never though Arbonne would lead me to inspiring these team members with my cooking. That "Me" That was lost has finally once again been found and I'm ready to conquer and inspire and teach. I am so grateful for everything that has come along with all of this and it has helped step out of my comfort zone a little more and EEEEKKKKK even do some Live videos which scares the crap out of me, but you know, if I want to inspire others, I need to step out of that comfort zone more often. 

Along with stepping out of this comfort zone aka SAFE zone as I like to call it, I also have been trying some amazing new recipes and creating some amazing yumminess that the entire family has been enjoying.  This is one of our amazing recipes we tried this week for the 30 days to Healthy Living and it made plenty for the whole week. I made the recipe without brown rice, but Jack's servings, I put rice in his cause he needs a little more carbs than me. 


  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 - 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups chicken or beef bone broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • teaspoon oregano
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, optional
  • Possible Garnishes: Almond Mozzarella Cheese, Scallions, Avocado


Place a large sauce 6-8 quart pot over medium heat. Add the oil, chopped bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes to soften.

Add whole chicken breasts, black beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.  If adding rice, stir it in with an additional 2 cups of water. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Use tongs to remove the cooked chicken breasts. Allow the soup to continue simmering to fully cook the rice, another 10-15 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool for a few minutes, then shred with two forks.

Once the rice is tender, add the shredded chicken back to the soup. Taste, and salt and pepper as needed.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Seared Scallops, Quinoa Salad and Butternut Squash Puree

Where do I even start with this one... Let's just say, Scallops are one of my specialties and I am always looking for new ways to change it up and different ways to eat them.  It is definitely a dish that may not come easy for some, but in my few years of trial and error, I have perfected cooking scallops, thanks to my grandma.... She is a wise one in the kitchen and I love picking her brain with how to cook certain things.

This scallop recipe is everything amazing mixed into one. At first, I was nervous about this combo together because I wasn't sure it would go together, but to my surprise, everything in this dish complimented each other so well. It was amazing. The scallops were cooked to the perfect doneness to where they almost just melted in your mouth. The flavor of the quinoa with the butternut squash and scallop together.... It was like a Party in my Mouth! So freaking good!!! My husband is not a huge quinoa fan, but he loved this dish because of how it all taste combined together.

If you are like me and LOVE LOVE LOVE scallops, I would definitely recommend trying this one. You will not be let down.... 

Seared Scallops, Quinoa Salad and Butternut Squash Puree

For the butternut squash puree
1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
For the quinoa salad
1 cup quinoa
2 apples
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 ounce lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the seared scallops
1 pound sea scallops
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Trim both ends of the butternut squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the cut side of both halves and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over them. Place the halves face down (that's the cut side) on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a sharp knife easily pierces the flesh.
2. While the butternut squash is cooking, prepare the quinoa. Place the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer until all the water has been absorbed, approximately 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, open the lid, and let cool.
3. Transfer the flesh of the butternut squash to a blender (or you can put it in a bowl and use an immersion blender), along with 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth.
4. Transfer the quinoa into a bowl, along with chopped apple, parsley. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over quinoa salad and toss to combine.
5. Dry the sea scallops with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper.
6. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter on high heat.  Once it begins to smoke, add the scallops and cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until it has browned on one side.  Using tongs, flip the scallops and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops.
7. To plate, start by spooning 3 tablespoons of butternut squash puree onto the plate (or shallow bowl). Top with a couple spoonfuls of quinoa salad, followed by the seared scallops. Spoon some of the remaining melted butter from the pan on top of the scallops.

I drizzled mine with a little balsamic reduction which was amazing.

This was Jacks, he didn't want the Balsamic. He doesn't have a love of Balsamic like I do. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Zucchini Enchiladas (Keto)

It's been so long since I have blogged and I have literally been cooking up a storm for the past.... gosh it seems like months now. I have sadly failed to blog all of the yumminess I have been concocting. I decided to take the plunge and do this again. I know I need to keep up my blog, share my passion and hopefully it will inspire some of you to do the same.
This recipe is very special to me because of the amazingness I created. Little did I know, this recipe would not only serve it's purpose as our yummy dinner, but it would become an emotional recipe for me.
In June my great grandmother (Grandmama as I would call her), Rosa passed away. It still seems almost hard to believe that she is gone. She was the one person that seemed to hold our family together and it's so hard to know that we won't visit that house that we all would come to for our family gatherings. When she got sick though, I feel like it almost brought all of us closer and our bond as cousins became stronger.
Although it's hard to make it down as often as I would like to, but lets face it, traveling with 3 kids (with one who gets severely carsick) can be hard sometimes, but we make it down to visit everyone when we are able to.
After she had passed, we started to go through things in her house which definitely was hard, but that's where I'm getting to with this recipe I promise.... I got this little kitchen gadget from my Grandmama.... It was a rectangular device, no bigger than a 2x4, made of plastic, with these little inserts, once for cheeses, and a mandolin.... When I saw this recipe, I knew exactly how I would make these Keto Enchiladas.... With the Mandolin attachment.....
When the day came to make this recipe, I took a deep breath, said a prayer and said, "Grandmama, I know you're with me today... please guide my way as I make this." After I said the quick prayer to her, it was as if she was standing there with my in my kitchen. Her presence was with me and I shed a few tears before I started and then proceeded to make this amazing meal that to me would not have come out the way it did without her there with me that day in spirit.
As I made those zucchini slices with that mandolin, my hands just seemed to glide with perfection using this tool..... and they came out amazing.... Jack even liked them, which by the way he hates zucchini, but he loved this carb free meal.
I recommend trying this out, it's simply perfection in an enchilada.

Keto Zucchini Enchiladas


1 large onion, chopped
1 tbs. EVOO or ghee (extra virgin olive oil)
kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
3 c. Shredded chicken
1 1/3 c. red enchilada sauce, divided (Check Sugars and Carbs)
4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 c. Shredded Monterey Jack
1 c. shredded Cheddar
Sour cream, for drizzling
Fresh cilantro, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350º. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and season with salt. Cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic, cumin and chili powder and stir until combined. Add shredded chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce and stir until saucy.
On a cutting board, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler  or mandolin to make thin slices of zucchini. Lay out three, slightly overlapping, and place a spoonful of chicken mixture on top. Roll up and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini and chicken mixture.
Spoon remaining 1/3 cup enchilada sauce over zucchini enchiladas and sprinkle with both cheeses.
Bake until melty, 20 minutes.
Garnish with sour cream and cilantro and serve.

I chose to serve mine topped with avocado and a side of Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Monday, January 23, 2017

Caprese Chicken

This 2017 is going to be my year of new recipes. I have been trying new recipes and I'm ready to share them all with you. Most will probably be healthy because Jack and I are on a new journey together. A new journey of healthy living, staying healthy and being active with our children. So far this lifestyle has been going amazing.

Along with trying these new recipes, I am going to be writing more, sharing these recipes, the ups and downs along this journey. We're very optimistic about what is in store for us and it's going to be AMAZING!

Last week I had some of my girlfriends over for our weekly girls night so I tried this 21 day fix recipe and it was so good I had to make it again on Sunday for my parents. I made way too much of course, so Jack got to indulge in the leftovers for work. He was very pleased with the meal too. So this meal was definitely a WIN in my book.

- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness
- 1/2 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- 1 cup lightly-packed fresh basil, torn


To Make The Chicken:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (You will know that it is ready when the oil is shimmering, or it sizzles when you place a drop of water in the oil.) Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the juices run clear. Remove chicken and set aside.

To Make The Balsamic Reduction:

Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced by half. Remove and set aside.

Putting the dish together:

Plate the chicken, then top with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Serve warm.

I served this dish over spaghetti squash. You could serve over butter noodles as well depending on your personal preference.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chicken and Ham Pies

Who doesn't like pies for dinner? So this is another "kid" recipe and this is something you can all make with your kiddos and have them help out in the kitchen. The kids wanted to make this one for dinner, so I prepped all the ingredients for them.

When it came time to cook, neither of them wanted to budge helping... however once I cooked everything, they wanted to do the fun part and put the pie crusts on top of the ramekins. As Brooklyn made a border around the ramekin, she shrieked, "Mommy! This dough feels like Play dough!" She loved it.

The kids did so great putting the crusts on and my little mini Brooklyn is a perfectionist like me, her dough had to be perfect on top of each pie.

Chicken and Ham Pies

2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock (I used homemade chicken bone broth.... so good)
1/2 cup milk
2 tbs. crème fraiche
1 tsp. dried herbs
salt and pepper
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
12 oz. chicken breast, cubed
4 oz. cooked ham, cubed
3 1/2 oz. frozen peas
12 oz. store-bought pie dough
1 egg, beaten

Place the butter, flour, stock and milk in a medium saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat, and continue whisking with the whisk until the mixture starts to thicken. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and add the crème fraiche and herbs.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, then simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Heat oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken and onion.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened and the chicken has browned.

Stir the chicken and onions into the sauce, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the head and stir in the ham and peas. 

Preheat oven to 400.  Let the mixture cool slightly, then divide it between four small individual pie dishes or one large one.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, then cut out four circles, slightly larger than the top of the pie dishes.  Use the scraps to make thin strips to cover the edges of the pie dishes (this is the part Brooklyn thought was like playing with playdough).

Brush the edges of the pie dishes with the egg, then press on the strips of pie dough.  Brush with egg again, then place the pie lids on top.  Use your fingers to seal the edges of dough together.

Brush tops with egg and make a cross in the top of each pie to allow the steam to escape.  Cook for 20 minutes at the top of oven, until the pie crust is puffed and golden.

Variation:  Use vegetable stock in step 1.  In steps 3 & 4, omit the chicken and ham. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes and add 12 oz. cooked potatoes, carrots and parsnip and 3 oz. corn when you add the peas.

Let Cool Slightly and Enjoy the Yumminess!

Fruity Granola

Man.... Life can sure throw you for a loop sometimes... The life of a stay-at-home police wife.... I keep telling myself I need to update my blog with new recipes and then life happens and a day turns into a week, a week turns into a month and a month turns into several months.

My last entry was in May, and I am sorry to all you viewers who have missed my cooking and haven't had the chance to try a new "Crystal dish" recipe... I am going to honestly try to make more time for all of you... try new recipes and share those recipes with you.

Since my last entry, I have done a lot more cooking with my little ones in the kitchen. It's been great and they actually want to try and cook, so I got a Childrens Cookbook. They are having a blast picking out the menu items for the week and love helping.

I am trying to do more natural cooking for the kids and trying to eliminate anything processed from our households so that we can nourish our bodies with greatness.

This granola was so fun to make and Brooklyn loved making this one. Nicholas only helps sometimes, but when he does he's all for it. This was Brooklyn's pick from the cookbook so he didn't want to help. He's not really a granola kid for the making part, but he loves the eating part of it.

Granola is a great go-to for a quick breakfast. You can eat this over yogurt, or even pour a little milk over it and eat it like cereal. I hope you all enjoy this one.

Fruity Granola

Serves 8

2 tbs. sunflower pol
6 tbs. pure maple syrup or honey
3 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried banana chips, broken into small pieces
3/4 cup raisins
milk or plain yogurt to serve

Preheat the oven to 400. Heat the oil and maple syrup or honey in a saucepan over low heat. Pour the maple syrup and oil mixture into a large bowl with the oats, hazelnuts, and pumpin seeds.  Place the mixture onto a baking sheet, spread it out, and cook in the over for 10 minutes, or until the granola turns golden brown color.  Let the oat mixture cool on the sheet and then pour into a bowl.  Add the dried banana chips and raisins to the mixture and stir well. 

Serve your granola in a bowl with milk or a spoonful or plain yogurt.

TIP:  Store your granola in an airtight container and have it for breakfast a few times over a couple of weeks. 


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Garlic Kale

Cauliflower is one of those forgotten vegetables.... its so versatile... I eventually want to cook my way through cauliflower and eat cauliflower for 30 days.... I'm looking forward to when I get the opportunity to start that challenge.

The kale in this recipe was amazing... I'm always trying to push kale on my hubby because it has so many great health benefits, but again, this recipe was no different... kale was a no-go for him... Can't blame a girl for trying, right?

I hope you all enjoy this one. It was easy to cook and the entire family loved this recipe... Even my 9 month old devoured the food!!!

For the Cauliflower Mash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, like sharp cheddar or havarti
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For the Kale
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • 1 package kalettes, if you can find them! OR 3 cups chopped kale
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
For the Shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. shrimp (enough for 4 people)
  • a few good shakes of garlic salt, chili powder, cayenne, and/or black pepper

  1. For the cauliflower: Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the cauliflower and garlic. Saute for a minute or two, until the garlic is really fragrant. Add the milk and 2 cups broth. Simmer for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the while beans and mash roughly with the back of a large wooden spoon - I loved the rustic, chunky texture of this. Stir in the cornmeal and things will start to thicken a bit. Adjust the consistency by adding in the last cup of broth as needed. Stir in the salt and cheese and season to taste.
  2. For the kale: Heat the bacon fat in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Add the greens and garlic and saute until softened. For the kalettes, I added a little water at the end to sort of steam them to finish them off. Remove kale and wipe out pan with a paper towel.
  3. For the shrimp: In the same skillet, add the oil over medium heat. Pat the shrimp dry. Add to the pan and sprinkle with seasonings to taste. Cook for just a few minutes and then add a quick splash of water or broth to the pan (about 2 tablespoons) to pull the browned bits and spices into something of a saucy-coating for the shrimp. It's delicious.
  4. Serve the shrimp and kale over a big pile of cauliflower mash! SO yummy.