Who says healthy has to be boring? Building a healthier meal is fairly simply. Lot’s of color, variety, and a bit of creativity is the base of it all. Here’s a guide to creating a delicious, healthy meal.

Chicken Burgers

  1.  Vegetables
    1. Let’s start off with vegetables because up to 50% of your plate should be vegetables. They should be colorful and can vary between raw and gently cooked. In the above pictur,  I snuck some extra veggies in to my meal by stuffing my chicken burgers with spinach.
  2. Grains
    1. As a guide, stick to brown not white grains. Brown rice is an inexpensive option. Quinoa, amaranth,wild rice, and soba noodles are also great options that add variety and flavor.
  3. Legumes
    1. I’m talking about chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, and lentils to name a few.  These will add extra fiber to keep you full feeling longer and the necessary protein for optimal health.
  4. Lean Protein
    1. Chicken, beef, fish is great. If you’re vegetarian and not adverse to soy you can try tofu or tempeh.
  5. Make room for the fixin’s
    1. This is where it gets good. Add fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley to help flush heavy metals from your body. You could even add a dash of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for a health soy alternative. If you’d like to speed up your metabolism then add a dash of cayenne pepper. I like to add a side of sliced avocados because I’m kind of obsessed with avocados. The combinations are endless. Get creative and see what you can come up with!

Rustic Chicken

 

 

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Of course you could have made a sandwich for him everyday until you got that ring ladies, and maybe picking up her favorite ice cream on your way home does do it for her fellas but this is 2014 and going the untraditional route is much appreciated now-a-days. So instead of making that dinner reservation, or trying to get his mom to show you that favorite recipe of his, try these 5 food related things to do with your significant other.

Disclaimer: Everything mentioned above, is still valid. My favorite Ice cream is Orange Sorbet boo Food Tasting

  1. Sip & Paint: Who doesn’t love to release their inhibitions with some wine and let their creativity flow with some art? I would suggest a BYOB location so that you can have the wine you fancy but some of the sip and paint shops will provide it for you during your session. The idea is to create with one another, even if you have no artistic skills and well, a little wine never hurt. Check out Paint Nite as an option.
  2. Pizza Making Class: Because sometimes cooking WITH bae is more enjoyable than cooking for bae. So learn how to move that dough with the right one and sign up for a pizza making class where you can take your new skills home to try again later. Some of these classes have an open bar option and I think Mimosas + Mozzarella sounds refreshing for an early Saturday Afternoon. Check out AOA Bar & Grill as an option
  3. Bacon is Bible. Do a Bacon Tasting: There are bacon festivals happening all year around that you can bring your little bacon lover to. There are also restaurants like Bar Bacon that offer a bacon tasting on their menu to make your taste buds dance. Yes, you can “pig out”
  4. Sushi Making Class: Because we both love sushi long time so maybe so do you, and you can even try this at home with your favorite bottle of sake. If you can’t find a class, Hire an affordable private chef to show you OR just use youtube after you’ve purchased all the key ingredients.
  5. Apple picking: Because Tis the season! Nothing like a relaxing day of apple picking, laughs, and maybe some wine but truly some quality time with your loved one! You can go home after and bake an apple pie together instead of getting the new apple cider latter mocha whomever at starbucks.
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Served by Stadium donut

Last week I had the pleasure of being Served by Stadium. They’re a new take out service that allows you to select menu items from multiple locations. So yes, you can have sushi and chicken wings for lunch now.  The kicker though, is that they only have a limited menu but as the company expands, I suspect that their menu will expand as well. The great part is that they have a pretty good variety of items already that will keep you full and intrigued. There’s nothing like a Mix and Match menu for an eater like me who just can’t decide and wants it all; Served by Stadium makes that possible

.Menu

The runners that greeted me were so kind and warm. They made me extremely anxious to peek into my tightly sealed served by stadium bag. I started with the Fig toast, topped with arm goat cheese, figs, and rosemary honey. To my surprise, the toast was really still warm and the cheese didn’t overpower the fresh bread it was served on. Harding’s did a great job of adding figs to balance the flavors and leave the honey, literally as a sweet finish.Toast

I planned to save some of my toast for later as I dug into the summer roll from Rhong Tiams. The crunchy veggies in the delicate rice paper were very light in flavor but heightened with the hoisin peanut sauce that it came with. It was comforting to have as the sauce reminded me of Massaman curry.Summer roll

My entree, was a dry pepper style chicken by Han Dynasty that came with white rice. The rice was necessary as this dish is spicy! The nuggets were nice and crisp and hot. I really enjoyed how juicy they were on the inside despite the dryness on the outer layer.Dry Pepper Chicken

Still in disbelief that someone went to all these places to make my lunch amazing, I had to get onto the dessert. Bosie Tea Parlor makes this Paris-Brest, which is like puff pastry filled with praline creme that is truly delightful. The pastry itself had caramelized hazelnuts engulfed within that makes you close your eyes once you bite into it. That’s the kind of dessert I always want to enjoy.

Dessert

So how about you? Do you plan to get Served by Stadium?Utensils

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lady lexi sweets cupcakes

I had the lovely opportunity to attend Lady Lexis’ Sweets food tasting. The experience was great and the desserts were awesome. Just check out some of the desserts I sampled.

APPLE TART

These were hands down the best apple tarts I’ve ever tasted. The touch of sweetness with cinnamon and a perfectly flaky crust made for an exceptional apple tart. I took about four of this home and finished them all in one day. That’s how good they were.

 Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffin

I loved the light texture of this muffin. The flavors blended well together, although I wished more of the cappuccino flavor came through. Overall, I enjoyed this beautiful breakfast muffin. The next day I had this muffin with a cup of vanilla almond milk and it was heaven.

carrot cake

Lady Lexis manages to nail the perfect texture on all of her desserts and the carrot cake is no exception. The frosting was a fluffy consistency, which paired well with the fluffy cake. As a carrot cake lover, I would have loved for a bolder flavor with this cake.

I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of the ginger snaps but they were also delicious! These ginger snap cookies weren’t the traditional tough ginger snaps. Much to my pleasant surprise they were slightly chewy. The flavor and texture of these cookies were amazing.

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After a break and two glasses of water I prepped myself for the beloved red velvet cupcakes. These cupcakes were again, just amazing. The frosting was piled high, the texture was light, and the flavors balanced perfectly.

Overall, the tasting went well. The apple tart and cappuccino chocolate chip muffins were my favorites. I would definitely visit Lady Lexis Sweets again.

lady sweets

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Mercadito Cocktail
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The last delight I enjoyed in Chicago was Mercadito, which I would consider upscale dining in the Chi. Completely dressed up for the occasion, I got the NYC Hurricane club ambiance here, especially considering the detailed layout and energy of the staff. It was obvious that this crowded night was the usual for them.

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Hungry as usual, I ordered two appetizers: The Guacamole and the Shrimp Ceviche. The Guacamole definitely tasted better than it looks, and it was nice mash up with the mango engulfed into the mix. I’m not too crazy about ceviche but the flavors were very fresh and fun.

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Then onto the fancy tacos. They have more than enough options here and my favorite were the Carnita’s. There were multiple layers of flavor in this bad boy, which always causes for a party. Not to mention, they bring out the most amazing green sauce to accompany your plantains on the side.

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