New Recipe Alert: Carrot and Eggplant Fettuccine

I love fall for the fall flavors, colors, and opportunity to experiment with new recipes paired with favorite foods. Carrot fettuccine is one of my favorite recipes to prepare in that it’s so easy, fun, and healthy and it gives you a great way out to get you to have your kids eat their veggies out there to all the mamas who have a struggle getting their kiddos to eat their veggies. You can even include your kids in on the activities by having them help you with the fettuccine pieces whether you choose to use a spiralizer to cut them up or with a knife.

My recipe was relatively simple. I just used some of my favorite spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder) and sauteed other vegetables and cut up about 2 whole carrots into shreds that resembled fettucine or thinner versions of carrot sticks.  And because I am an eggplant lover I added some diced eggplant to the recipe as well to add another portion of protein and some different flavor profile and taste to the recipe.  I then added a tomato sauce with a mushroom to my veggie sautee and let it simmer to absorb the flavor. This was my 2nd or 3rd time making this particular recipe but it was so yummy, cozy, and filling.

Carrot and Eggplant Fettuccine
Diced eggplant. I used this to use half for this recipe and another recipe that I made later on that night.
Carrot and Eggplant Fettuccine
Cutting up the carrots to fettuccine length or style
Carrot and Eggplant Fettuccine
Before sauteeing. Cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms,eggplant, and onions
Carrot and Eggplant Fettuccine
Finished product! So yummy!

What are some of your favorite fall foods that are healthy but still delicious?  I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment or message below!

Foodie Files: Hidden Gems Jax Edition- Jax Beach Brunch Haus

It’s Sunday Funday and we all know what that means. Brunch and relaxing! Jacksonville has an awesome foodie scene that’s way too splendid to not be a part of. My latest hidden gem was Jax Beach Brunch Haus.

I stumbled upon this hidden jewel by chance as I had an appetite built for destruction today and was ready for some quality wholesome food. And boy did they deliver.

Hands down, excellent customer service, good food and great vibes. Live music. Beautiful ambience and a very relaxed but inviting hipster style vibe.

A perfect brunch spot if you want something filling but not too heavy, with locally sourced foods, a great selection of items, great smoothies and awesome cocktails. For today’s selection I had a Paradise City with Hash, T. W. Mexicali and a Southern biscuit.IMG_6686IMG_6687

I didn’t wait long for my food at all and it was quality like everything had been prepared to order and of the freshest quality. All the staff had a warm and inviting demeanor, and the restaurant itself had a very down to earth homey vibe. I am going to make it a plan to check out their espresso and coffee options next time but it is definitely worth a second and third look. You get great helpings for the price and I even had enough to take home leftovers.

The restaurant was formerly know as The Loving Cup Hash House but may be under new ownership and brand management.

I am always excited to find new restaurants that I love and this one will be another that I make a return visit too as well.

What are some of your favorite Jax Foodie finds? I would love to hear from you!

New Recipe Alert: Thai style pineapple mango rice with homemade mango sauce

I just love Thai inspired food and tonight I got a strong craving for pineapples, mangoes, and shrimp so I decided to get into the kitchen and make my own version of a traditional fave Thai dish: pineapple fried rice.

thai inspired rice
Thai mango and pineapple inspired rice

Although my rice was not fried it still had the same effect and was still just as yummy. I used a basic rice with seasonings and scrambled two eggs, sauteed veggies, pineapples, and mangoes, and had already sauteed and seasoned the shrimp.

I was really inspired and wanted to try my hand at making my own mango sauce from scratch which turned out really yummy and did not require a lot of ingredients to make. A simple set of about 12-15 diced mangoes, lime juice, and a dash of organic cane sugar. ( I usually buy mangoes from the frozen food section as they are already cut and maintain their nutritional value and are easy to use in that form) I pulsed the mango sauce mixture in a food processor until it reached the desired consistency and allowed the shrimp, veggies, and fruit to simmer.

homemade mango sauce
Homemade mango sauce!

I also added some black beans for a little extra protein and because beans are a common staple for me when I cook.

After combining all the ingredients, I drizzled the desired amount of the mango sauce and served. Talk about yummy, filling, and a lot of fun to make! In addition it was only about 30 minutes of less that it actually took to prepare this meal and I have leftovers too! For the win!  What are some of your favorite Thai dishes? What are some of your favorite recipes? I would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Foodie Files: Hidden Gems Jax Edition

So it’s been a while but here I am again. I am trying to be consistent in posting here at least once a month (if not more) and I wanted to share some of the recent foodie files that I’ve stumbled upon in my area.

I absolutely love finding new restaurants and especially trying new foods.

One of my most recent finds is Monroe’s Smokehouse BBQ. When I say this place is amazing, that doesn’t even begin to properly explain it. Everything about this place is spectacular. From the great customer service to the food. I haven’t had anything that wasn’t tasty, well seasoned, flavorful, and fully satiating to your palette and appetite.  Best of all EVERYTHING is made from scratch.

My favorite dishes are the macaroni and cheese, sweet potato souffle, and collard greens. I’ve only had the ribs and smoked wings but everything always smells so yummy so I would safely assume that the rest of the meat options are equally as appetizing.

IMG_5873.JPG

Featured in this picture are the smoked wings and sweet potato souffle as well as the macaroni and cheese. The sweet little heat sauce is AMAZING!

Monroe’s has several locations throughout the Jacksonville area and they also boast a pretty awesome food truck that makes its rounds around town so it’s definitely worth the effort if you’re in the area.

The next restaurant that I stumbled upon was the Blue Fish Restaurant and Oyster Bar. I was really in the mood for some really good seafood and wanted to try something off the beaten path. This had so many positive reviews when I looked it up that I had to give it a try,

Again, another really excellent choice all around and I am sure I will be back before it’s said and done. It’s nestled nicely between the Murray Hill, Avondale, and Riverside Area so it boasts a very quiet but beautiful atmosphere and just as beautiful ambiance on the inside. Great service and almost all options are based upon seasonal availability or the local market which I also love because you can literally pop in and try something new every time so it gives it a new yet authentic feel every time that you go.

IMG_5978.JPG

First let me say these fried green tomatoes were not only yummy but surprisingly a great way to start the meal. An unexpected start to a wonderful meal and the roasted red pepper goulis and goat cheese set it off just right.

IMG_5980Next up, it goes without saying that summer is the best time for sampling new dishes and enjoying great drinks. BY FAR, one of the best sangrias in town. Flavorful, good distribution of wine and fruit and not too strong where it sneaks up on you but just enough to be able to enjoy the meal or ambiance and so you can relax. And it subtle enough so that it doesn’t take away from your meal itself.

IMG_5981

The grand finale. Herb crusted snapper with jumbo lump crab, seasonal veggies, orzo and rice, with a side of their famous white cheddar macaroni and cheese.

Both of these restaurants are fast becoming two of my favorite spots to stop in when I am mood for eating out but as always the exploration continues. If you’re ever in the Jacksonville area, make sure to stop into both of these wonderful hidden gems, you’ll be glad you did!

Making turmeric milk and infused water

 

 

turmeric milk
Photo Credit: Hion.com

As a part of living a healthier lifestyle and just a goal of trying out new recipes, I took some of my spare time last night and incorporated a new turmeric milk recipe into my arsenal of recipes and added a new flavor to my infused water.

Here is a picture of the results :

foodie-files

Infused water:

I chopped up about  3-6 lemon wedges, 7-9 cucumber slices, and added  a tsp of ground ginger, and just some good ol’ H20. Store overnight in fridge  for maximum infusion flavor and enjoy!

Turmeric milk:

A cup of vanilla almond milk, a tbsp of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a tsp of  raw organic sugar cane. Shake well for about 2 min to ensure all ingredients are well mixed. You can either warm up the milk or drink it cold. I warmed it up and it tasted absolutely delicious. I am trying to replace my caffeine fix for coffee with herbal teas and other warm drink recipes. This recipe came in handy just in time and I didn’t even have any caffeine crashes without coffee and this had a nice smooth, spicy but sweet taste. You can adjust the recipe as you see fit. It will come out a bright yellow color, even though from  my picture it appears a warm brown. #lightingprobs

Both turmeric and infused water have natural detox and anti-inflammatory properties so it’s even better that these drinks taste great and are great for you!

What are some of your favorite health food drinks or smoothies? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!

OOTD: Flowy skirts and structured tops

You know how you have a crazy week but you still have joy? It’s been one of those weeks for me but I can honestly say beyond just internal joy  and peace it’s the little things that have really made me sing this week. Those things include flowy skirts and structured tops. Both of these OOTDs are from earlier this week but I love how mixing colors and prints just puts you in a good place (plus the right cup of coffee and productivity) Eeek! I over love a good mix of patterns or prints with bold colors or fun shoes. Oh and ya’ll please excuse my mirror, it needs a cleaning but it’s been THAT kind of week. LOL.

OOTD #1

ootd-1

Details

Blue stripe button down: Touch Dolls boutique { Touchdolls.com}  The fit is great and runs a little roomy and I ordered some other items from there that I absolutely am in LOVE with.

Red High Waist Skater Skirt: Choies.com (I love this skirt because it’s so versatile and I can wear this to work,  church, and pretty much anywhere else and can be dressed up or down and has the right amount of sophistication but comfort) I commonly look for pieces that go well with multiple things or can give me different looks so I am not having to update my wardrobe all the time. Did I mention it has pockets? Yay!

Gray ruched pumps: Jessica Simpson (DSW I think #recoveringshopaholicprobs) The detailing in these shoes is EVERYTHING! I love that they have a great height (just about 3 1/2 inches I believe) to give me that extra boost of confidence for anything I face during my day and they are just subtle enough to be worn in the office but dressed up for after work festivities.

OOTD 2

ootd-2

Red fitted turtleneck body con top: Meow and Barks Boutique  This top just gives any outfit or pairing the perfect pop of color and splash of fun that any fashionista is always searching for.

White contrast polka dot print maxi skirt: Choies.com I probably stalked (YES STALKED) this skirt for a good little while before I actually caved in and bought it. What I really love about this skirt, is that as the wearer it gives you such a regal feel especially when you dress it up with your favorite boots or pumps. And it truly is perfect for any occasion. Unless that occasion involves running or vigorous running. LOL.

You can probably barely see the ends of my boots peeking out (we caught a few days of cold weather so I got super excited and decided to bust out my boots) so I will save my review and details of them until a later date where you can get a better look.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors, prints, etc. and let your fashionista flag fly loud and proud! Create a style all your own and strut your stuff with confidence!