After a long weekend full of food and drinks, this always seems to be what Mike and I end up googling….
So, in an attempt to find a recipe that was healthy but also not boring, I went to where I always go for food ideas… Pinterest! After a few minutes of searching, I found the perfect combo of satisfying and sensible. Plus, it was simple and quick to make which is always preferred. Totally something you could do on a week night and unlike many salad recipes, we were both surprised how full we still were later that night. Anyways, hope you enjoy as much as we did!
Bacon Avocado & Feta Salad
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water (or more oil if you wish)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to your tastes)
- 5 ounces |150g bacon, diced and trimmed of all fat
- 8 cups chopped Iceberg and Romaine
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/4 cucumber, chopped
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- extra Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk together the dressing and if you’re going to add grilled or seared chicken, use this as the marinade as well. Once dressing is made, refrigerate. Fry bacon to a crisp so that it can be easily crumbled. As the bacon is cooling on paper towels, prepare salad fixings and add all together, crumble bacon atop and toss with dressing. Serve and enjoy!
As I mentioned, you could easily grill chicken to add protein or toast up some Sourdough bread as a side.
That’s all for today! Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday! Half way thru the week, yippee!
Love & light,
When it comes to weeknights can be exhausting and a little frantic at times after you’ve worked a full day and are getting home late. Plus, if you’re trying to eat healthy (especially after a Super Bowl style previous weekend), it can be really difficult. That’s why I love to make big meals on Sunday that are healthy, yummy and easy to reheat! This soup recipe is all of those things so I wanted to share it with you all!
PASTA E FAGIOLI RECIPE:
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium)
- 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
- 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans low sodium chicken broth or beef broth
- 1/2 cup water, then more as desired
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 scant cup dry ditalini pasta
- 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- Finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium high heat, crumble in ground lean turkey and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Dab off any fat with a paper towel then transfer turkey to a plate and set aside. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in same large saucepan, onions, carrots, and celery over medium-high heat until tender about 6 minutes, add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Reduce heat to a low, add tomato sauce, broth, water, canned tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, uncooked pasta and cooked beef then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft, about 20 minutes.
- Add kidney beans and great northern beans. Thin with a little more water if desired. Allow to cook 2 minutes longer. Serve warm with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Voila! 40 minutes later, you have a big healthy pot of deliciousness hot and ready for your enjoyment on these cold winter nights.
We like to buy a loaf of fresh sourdough bread as well and put some olive oil, garlic and oregano then toast for some dipping!
Hope everyone has stayed safe and warm over the past few days. And happy Friday!
Love & light,
It’s been over a week since Mike and I returned home from our Italian vacation. I can’t believe how quickly time is going by lately. It seems like yesterday that we got engaged on Memorial Day weekend but in reality an entire summer full of fun has gone by and a vacation that we’ve been planning for two years has come to a close! In less than 300 days, (295 days to be exact) we say “I do.” My eyes bug out of my head when I read that — 295 days!!!!!– it’s funny how when times aren’t the best, the days go by at a snails pace and when they’re going great, the days go by in a blink of an eye. Although I wish I could slow it down a little, I’m feeling so excited, happy and most of all thankful that I’m getting to experience some of these special moments in life!
The last time I blogged, we were on a train to Florence so I wanted to share some more photos from the last two cities on our trip! Florence was filled with art (a big artistic wiener to be exact) and LOTS of food and wine! Venice was filled with streets made out of water and rooftop swimming & prosecco. This country is so beautiful, diverse and magical, I hope you all get to experience it one day!
family run hotel in Florence
my main man Guy Fieri in Italy!
old time wedding gowns
outside the Duomo
tasted the grapes and they were delicious!
rainbow in Tuscany!
rose all day. including the car ride back to Florence!
Davidddd, you stud you!
the most delicious balsamic!
having our engagement blessed by Grappa!
inside the Duomo
meat, cheese, wine.
becoming a wine expert
always reppin our phoebs
need this pool in my life more often
starting our tour with cheese, prosciutto and of course wine!
drinks in the street?! I LOVE ITALY!
being a local and drinking from the street
a bar from the 1500’s
The city of Love!
last night in Italy
On our way to Phoebs
Halfway home Phoebs!
Italia- you were the most delicious, gracious and fun hosts ever. Thank you for making our trip more magical than we could’ve even dreamed. Until next time. Ciao!
Lots of love & light,
We’re on the train to Florence which means we’re half way through our trip! Thus far, it’s been more than we had even ever dreamed of! The sun has been shining, the people have been friendly and welcoming, the scenery has been stunning and the food and wine has been unreal.
Our time in Positano was the perfect was to start our trip. We stayed at a fabulous hotel (Covo De Sarcini, highly recommend) right at the bottom of the cliffs on a small beach. It’s a fishing town so the seafood was absolutely mouth watering. I’m picky about fish so it was a shocker when I ordered mussels three times in five days. The food here in general is literally so fresh it’s hard to explain unless you’ve tasted it. I also don’t loveeeee tomatoes typically however they are so juicy and flavorful here I haven’t stopped eating them! We spent a morning at the Pompeii Ruins and it was just fascinating. Then the next day we went on a boat with about 10 other people for the day. It took us along the beautiful Almafi coast, had a few hours on the island of Capri and stopped at different grottos and let us swim around in the Mediterranean Sea. swimming was my favorite, the water is so blue and salty you float easily. We swam into the grottos and got to look up at the natural caves- it was a moment I will never ever forget. The last night we did a wine and cheese tasting. Boy the Italians do not skimp out on their wine pours- but I never complain! 🍷 There was a festival going on right outside our hotel where kids were performing ballet to mostly music from the nutcracker so we watched it from our balcony and enjoyed some music we recognize. Perfect way to end our perfect little Italian beach getaway.
Then we headed to Rome where we fell in love with this city! The history is unmatched and the vibrancy of the city life makes you smile. And of course, the food and wine is like heaven. We toured the Colosseum and got a tour in the underground tunnels where the athletes and animals would be kept before being put on the stage. Walking thru the ruins of the Roman town from 3,000 years ago and to hear about how they lived was just unreal. Yesterday we went to the Vatican and although Pope Francis was holding a mass while we were there, we were somehow not invited. But we did spend four hours going thru all the art, looking up at Michaelangelo’s work of the Sistine Chapel and then ended our time at the Basillica which was nothing like I’ve ever seen. We were lucky as the Holy Door was open, which it only is every 20 years, and it’s said that your sins are washed away as you enter thru. It was a special moment and one that I needed after the many not-so-holy thoughts I had had while touring the Vatican with an especially obnoxious visitor that was in our group and the 10,000 other visitors who bumped and shoved their way thru the museum. Okay, okay, back to the religious part of the day. My favorite part, by far, was simply getting to kneel and say a prayer in this stunning cathedral knowing the Pope had been there just an hour before.
And as beautiful as all the sites and amazing as all the history, I think my favorite memories I’ll take are just the moments Mike and I sat and people watched outside, whether it was at a small ristorante, or The Trevvi Fountain at night, or the small cafe as stopped at to get a glass of wine where we met the best couple and chatted with them for an hour or so. It has been the small moments, the moments together, feeling content and peaceful that I will take away from this trip.
My heart is so filled with gratitude for getting to have this experience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime and I am trying not to miss out on any of the little moments. So with that, I must get back to staring out the window of this train as we pass thru the mountainside as we head to Florence.
Caio! And lots of love & light,
When I was growing up, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Thanksgiving. I was a picky eater. I focused on the fact that I didn’t like the food. If you don’t really like vegetables and you’re not into turkey, good old T-giving can be a tough day. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized what an incredible day it really is. I’m happy to say that now that I consider myself quite the foodie, I absolutely love all the delicious food I get to stuff my face with BUT I love even more to have a day that’s specifically dedicated to giving thanks. It’s a day focused on being grateful for all you have and to be with those you love and reflect on all that you have together.
Since being diagnosed, I have found true strength when I count my blessings. When I consciously think about all the things that I do have in life, no matter how hard the day, my mindset is always helped. It helps ground me and helps put things into a necessary perspective. So today in honor of this amazing day that is completely dedicated to being thankful, I am going to list out everything I feel so lucky to have in my life.
I am thankful for…
- My Michael
- My family
- My Phoebe
- My friends
- My incredible doctors (especially Dr. Mandy & Dr. D)
- The most amazing and caring nurses (especially Andrea, Rachel, Margo, Deb, Kristen!)
- To be a patient at the most amazing cancer institute in the world— Dana Farer
- To have a job
- Having a roof over my head
- Having food to eat everyday
- Being an American
- Living in New England
- Being a Patriots Fan
- Being able to practice yoga
- Sharing a home I love with a person I love
- My under desk bicycle
- Having a safe car
- Fresh flowers
- Queen B
- T-Swift, in particular, “Shake It Off”
- One Direction
- The ability to opening my mind to alternative ways of thinking
- Clothes & Shoes that I love
- A working pancreas
- Good food and being able to eat it!
- Buffalo chicken
- Strawberry strudels
- Being in remission
- Having hair again
- Soft, fuzzy pajamas
- Last but certainly not least, I am thankful for this blog and most importantly thankful for all the supportive and wonderful people that have followed my journey. I’m thankful that you’re part of my life and thankful for everything your support has provided me throughout a challenging portion of my life.
I hope you all have a beautiful day, and remember to truly give thanks to all that you have in your life. Even if you’re going through a tough time, try to think of at least one thing that you can feel true gratitude for — whether that is as important as another human being in your life or as simple as being able to have a glass of wine. Whatever it is you’re thankful for, be truly thankful, down to your core.
Happy Thanksgiving, loves!
Lots of love & light,
Tomorrow I go to the Dana. I go every Wednesday and I never look forward to it but tomorrow, tomorrow I’m excited. Weird to say that I’m excited to head to the hospital but I’m hoping that tomorrow is the start of a long stretch of pain coming to a close. I meet with my pancreatologist and hopefully get the all-clear to begin eating again. Now I know it won’t be an “eat whatever you want” conversation but even being able to have a fruit smoothie or grilled chicken breast will be such a big deal. Like I’ve said over and over, I’m so hungry. Hungry and beyond crazy with cravings. All I can think about is food…sandwiches, pizza, angel hair pasta, sushi. I’m a ways away from all that but a girl can dream. I also start on steroids tomorrow for five days which make me absolutely insane when it comes to eating. They make me so hungry and able to eat like a growing football player. So tomorrow as I meet with my doctor, I will be putting on my persuasive pants and begging him to allow me to start my journey back to the real world of food. Wish me luck.
Tomorrow also marks the restart of my chemo regimen. I’ve been paused for two months because of the pancreatitis but tomorrow I start it up again. It will feel good to restart as I have been worried to be off my planned track for this long…for obvious reasons. Chemo’s no fun but progress is. The start of this next round of chemo means I’m one step closer to getting my life back, one step closer to being cured. And those things are something to be excited about, really excited about.
My first pancreatitis attack happened on August 13th. It’s now November 14th. That’s three hospital stays in the books, about 100 pounds in fluctuated weight, an incredible amount of pain medication down, a stent placed into my pancreas, two months behind on my chemo regimen and three months in the past of simply not eating or not eating the foods I want to eat. In fact, right now, I’m unable to eat anything but “clears” for the next two weeks (clears = broth, apple juice, jello, water). It sounds unenjoyable but not the end of the world, right? I would have guessed that too but not being able to eat is more than that. I’m having such a hard time with it because it’s something that I enjoy doing so much. I enjoy cooking it, I enjoy snacking on it, I enjoy going out to restaurants with my boyfriend and friends, and I enjoy eating it! Food was one of the last things that not much had changed since my diagnosis. And I so revelled in that. So the fact that it got taken away from me just seems unfair. Now, instead of eating, I have a feeding tube that I attach to every night for 14 hours. Not exactly a pasta dinner.
In general, these past few months have left me really down. I’ve been in the hospital 45 days of the three months which is nothing short of miserable. Being in the hospital is a mind game. It’s draining and sad. You become like a hamster. For the majority of the time you’re kept in your little cage where people are constantly coming in and out to either visit, poke you with something or give you medication to take. The latter is my favorite as it hopefully will make me sleepy and I can dose off to kill an hour or two. If I’m being honest, sleeping has become one of my favorite things to do in these past few months because it takes me away from everything. I know that doesn’t sound very inspirational but it’s the truth. Trying to stay positive and keep my spirits up has proven to be harder recently than it had been in the past. I think it’s a combination of this big bump in the road I’ve had (aka pancreatitis) and also the sense that I’ve been at this for almost 9 months now and I still have so much further to go. Today, however, my mom and I are staying in our pajamas all day since it might snow and making Christmas crafts for the holidays. It should be fun and I’m grateful to be out of the hospital and doing something I enjoy… crafts! Now, if I can just get to eating by Thanksgiving, I’ll be making positivity strides all over the place.
Much love for listening to me vent… I had to get this one out.