Archives for posts with tag: healthy


My attempts to eat a healthy breakfast are often cyclical and depend on my ability to be organized and think ahead. Sounds easy enough, but somehow not at the top of my priorities of the mundane day-to-day activities. I found this recipe on Monday, made a big batch on Monday night and I have been loving it every morning. I have been adding a little honey, cinnamon and sliced bananas and it makes breakfast easy and healthy. Simple = more sleep.

  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • cups quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 13.5-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, salt, and 1½ cups water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and liquid is evaporated, 20–25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

I had to share because this has really been starting my days off right and it’s super flavorful and filling.

baby romanesco

quick and delicious silky romanesco soup

A botanical dilemma, this gorgeous edible has caused much confusion about its true parentage. Sometimes called Romanesco broccoli and sometimes called Romanesco cauliflower in North America, the French call it Romanesco cabbage while the Italians refer to it as broccolo Romanesco.

Having a dense texture reminiscent to cauliflower, baby broccoli Romanesco has a crunchier bite. I substituted Romanesco for a recipe that called for cauliflower and was happy with this healthy dinner for girls night.

Eating is so much more than preparing and cooking food: it’s about giving, friendship, beauty, warmth, color, experience, fragrance, simplicity and of course company.

Serves 4 to 6

8 heads baby romanesco
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock or veggie stock
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove the leaves and thick core from the romanesco, coarsely chop, and reserve.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the romanesco and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the romanesco is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a blender and return it to the pot.

Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth.

Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Now play with glitter with all your best friends because glitter makes everything better, and we were making Valentine’s Day cards for our loved ones. You should probably go make a card for your mom, sister, brother, nephew or niece, grandparents and best friends right now.

Photo Jan 20, 4 53 58 PM

Everyone needs an excuse to stray from their current habits and onto a new path. For many that means taking a vacation, joining the gym, making more time for themselves and meditating on life, but most commonly we focus on what we are putting into our bodies. January is the time, more than ever it seems, when we choose to start the year off with a clean slate and a new diet. I was introduced to Arbonne products by a dear friend in December and chose January 5th as my start date to do the 30 day cleanse. I have always wanted to try an elimination diet before, hoping to cure the symptoms related to the eczema I have been suffering from for many years. Connecting my skin condition to one of these toxins: alcohol, caffeine, soy, dairy, gluten, whey, refined sugar, vinegar, corn or artificial flavors would provide me with some relief. In addition, while I eat healthy, I have a tendency to eat whatever I want which isn’t always kind to my waist line. I wanted to feel great all the time, with a clear head, a consistent good night’s sleep and energy that came from fueling my body with clean foods. I knew making the change in my habits would provide me the basis to make better food decisions into my future.

If you are interested in the cleanse or have any questions please feel free to comment.

The Arbonne cleanse allows for one meal per day, which should be mostly greens with some protein, healthy grains and healthy fat. Tonight I cooked blackened Tilapia in coconut oil, wilted Tuscan kale with sesame seeds, and quinoa with garlic and scallions.

Start by putting a kettle on to boil. Place two handfuls of kale per person in a colander.

Chop scallions and garlic. Heat small sauce pan with a bit of coconut oil and cook scallions and garlic until fragrant. Add quinoa and water (or broth) and cook according to instructions. Once there is about 5 minutes left you can start the fish.

Blackened Fish:

Rinse your fillet. Season one side of the fish with cayenne pepper, covering the fish generously. I added a little salt and pepper as well. Let a bit of coconut oil heat on a non-stick pan at medium/high heat. Place the fish seasoned side down and let cook almost all the way through (about 5 minutes) flip the fish and finish until cooked through. This can be prepared with similar fish, such as cod.

When the kettle comes to a boil, slowly pour over the kale and add lemon and salt and pepper for flavor.

Plate your dish, adding any other veggies you like on top of the quinoa (i.e. mushrooms, cucumber, tomato)

The whole meal takes 20 minutes, tastes delicious and doesn’t leave you feeling hungry.

arbonne smoothie

baby kale + almond milk + banana + almond butter + arbonne protein powder

I am both excited and nervous to be doing the 30 day Arbonne cleanse in January. This is not a deprivation diet, and I am already happily starting my days off with this simple shake. It fills me up, gets me going and gives me energy. My NutriBullet makes this the easiest meal of the day, hands down. I will keep you posted with some of the healthy meals come January.

1 cup almond milk

1/2 banana (I keep them in the freezer, but you can use fresh)

1 tablespoon almond butter

Baby kale (or spinach, or mustard greens, chard, etc)

2 scoops Arbonne Vanilla (or chocolate) Protein powder

1 scoop Arbonne Fiber Boost

*You can add ice too, I prefer without

I’m looking forward to starting the new year with a healthy mind and body, energized and refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.

Photo Apr 25, 1 55 51 PM (1) Versatile. Fresh. Bright. Super green. Delicious.

One of my favorite things about walking into a kitchen is the smells. Roasted garlic, chiffonade basil, tangy meyer lemon, vibrant california olive oil, roasted almonds. Kale does not arouse the same tantalizing response that these smells do, despite it’s popularity, yet it is the main ingredient in this simple condiment. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, you won’t even feel guilty about adding parmesan cheese and spreading it on a ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Use this on anything, never buy store bought pesto again, and maybe it will awaken your senses and change your whole day or night.

kale processor


1 meyer lemon, juiced

1/2 cup raw almonds, lightly toasted

1-2 large garlic clove, smashed

about 3 cups chopped kale (or, a big handful of leaves, torn roughly)

a sprig of basil

1/4 cup grated parm cheese

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, pulse smashed garlic clove until chopped finely (about less than a minute). Add kale, toasted almonds, meyer lemon juice and parm cheese until combined, stopping to push down the kale on the sides a couple times.

With the food processor running on low, add olive oil in a steady stream until you get the consistency you want. I went with about a full cup of olive oil.

Add salt and pepper; taste; adjust as you like.

You may omit the cheese, pick different nuts or even use seeds instead. This turned out pretty garlicky so you may want to only use one clove. Use your blender if you do not have a food processor.


I am insanely lucky to have the best family and friends who love me unconditionally. I have no idea how I got so blessed. They are there to support me, inspire me with their many talents, pick me up when I’m down, go on crazy adventures with me, listen, laugh, be stupid with, and make me want to be a better version of myself. To top off my blessings this month I am so very excited to be going on a solo trip to Hawaii tomorrow where I will be meeting my wonderful parents and connecting with old friends. It is always a good idea to get away and take care of yourself, even if it means going for a hike, getting a massage or simply eating a good meal with a friend (or solo). My best friend came over for dinner tonight and we decided we would do a healthy Hawaiian inspired meal. I got most of the ingredients at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market, which I try to make time to visit as often as possible. We were busy chatting and catching up on life, so the measurements and ingredient list are approximations today, but I’m confident that these are simple enough to copy.

rainbow chard

For the Greens (recipe inspiration from my beautiful vegan friend Lindsey):

I picked up Red Russian Kale and the above picture Rainbow Chard at the Santa Cruz Downtown Farmer’s Market. Cut the ends off the chard, take the stems out of kale, or in my case ask your girlfriend to rip the leaves while your prep the seafood. If you use Lacinato (also called Tuscan) make sure you get rid of the stems, they are tough, kitchen scissors are helpful. Baby Kale is a good alternative if you do not want to do the prep work, and we’re lucky to have some great local options. Roughly chop the greens. Blanch the greens by placing them in a colander or strainer and pour boiling water very slowly over the greens. Lindsey recommended using a tea pot and it worked perfectly.

Place greens in a bowl and toss with sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, salt, ground red chili flakes and a dash of soy sauce to taste. Use your best judgement depending on how many greens your using. When toasting sesame seeds (you can use black or white) it is easier to use a soup pot because they bounce about and easily burn so keep them moving.

You can make this dish with any greens, such as broccolini, green beans, broccoli rabe, mustard greens, asparagus….

red russian kale

For the Hawaiian inspired fish (sorry Lindsey):

I used tilapia because it was fresh and the right price. You can use any white fish, like halibut, that takes on the flavor of what you are cooking. I added 1 tablespoon of canola oil and a little butter to a frying pan. Add 1-2 shallots and 2 cloves of garlic and let soften. Salt and pepper the tilapia and add to the pan. Flip the fish. You can break it up a little if you like. Add a dash of white wine to deglaze the pan and let simmer on very low.

For a little tropical addition that I usually use on my fish tacos, I made a basic mango salsa with:

1 ripe mango
fresh lime
1/2 diced red onion
jalapeño or serrano

I used pretty cilantro sprouts I found at the Farmer’s Market as a garnish on the fish, I love micro greens, especially arugula and sunflower.

The BEST part of this meal was spending time with a dear friend, fresh ingredients, and simplicity. This is what life is about. Aloha!

Photo Jan 15, 7 25 51 PM (1) tropical-dinner-036 Photo Jan 15, 7 27 16 PM (2)

Photo Dec 10, 7 16 59 PM


This writing and culinary adventure is about bettering myself as a cook and a writer, but I quickly have noticed that my photography skills are greatly lacking. I am very unhappy with the appearance of brigitte in the kitchen and hopefully with the help of my dear friend and talented photographer, Lindsey Lutts, the page will be getting an update after the first of the year. I am so lucky to have friends like her to bounce ideas off, and support me in so many ways. I am looking forward to the positive change in the page, as much as I look forward to a day of creativity with one of the best people I know.

I want to stay committed to updating the page, and I promised two healthy recipes so please try out these beet and sweet potato chips, they are easy and fun and pretty!

Photo Dec 10, 4 49 44 PM


Photo Dec 10, 4 55 14 PM

Photo Dec 10, 5 38 26 PM


5     medium beets, peeled
1     tablespoon olive oil

1     medium sweet potato, peeled
1     tablespoon olive oil

2     teaspoons coarse pink salt
1/4  teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4  teaspoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Slice beets carefully with a mandoline to 1/16-inch thickness. Toss slices in oil. Arrange in a single layer on two large sheet pans. Stack one pan on top of the other and bake pans for 20 minutes. Rotate pans and bake an additional 20 minutes or until chips are dried, being careful not to overcook slices. Remove from pans to cool.

Repeat with sweet potato and olive oil.

Combine pink salt, thyme leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Grind mixture together with mortar and pestle or the handle of a wooden spoon. Toss chips with salt when still slightly warm.

I ate them plain or dipped in my favorite hummus.
Photo Dec 10, 5 37 59 PM