Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Wrap Up

Whew! Where did February go? The shortest month of the year is over,(even as a Leap Year!),  and we see Spring on the horizon!

But before we hop into the new season, let’s take a moment to look back at February. We’d like to start off by awarding KALE as our “Food of the Month.” You may not have seen it here in the blogoverse, but we have been using kale on a weekly, actually almost daily basis. And we’re not done! Stick around for Alycia’s go-to Kale Salad recipe, and Christina’s variation next week.

Kale has made two other appearances on Feel Good Foodies this February:

Our love for this veggie is new but passionate, so look forward to new ways to consume kale in future posts. Wondering why we’re swooning? Check out the health benefits of kale.

Our February goal was exploration, and explore we did! From new juice recipes to European getaways, our month was jam-packed with trying new things. How did you explore this month?

We have a great March planned and are looking forward to announcing our new goal and food of the month later this week!

Feel Good,
Christina & Alycia

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Green Lemonade

Alycia has me on a juicing frenzy! I don’t think I’m quite ready for a BluePrint cleanse or anything like that, but I am definitely utilizing my juicer to its full extent. I’ve been looking up a lot of good recipe ideas, and especially love Green Lemonade, courtesy of Linda Wagner.

Here’s the recipe from Linda’s blog:

Green Lemonade

  •  2 cucumbers
  • 4 med size apples – I used fuji
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/4 bunch parsley
  •  2 small lemons

Run all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy! (Makes 32oz)

This is by far my favorite juice that I’ve tried! I’ve been enjoying Alycia’s Glowing Green recipe after the gym all week, but the Green Lemonade is my weekend guilt-free treat. What’s your favorite juice recipe?


Saturday, February 25, 2012


WARNING: this post is LONG. 

Now that I've sorted through my photos from Europe, I can share my trip with you! Instead of boring you with the 160 photos of the beautiful sights in Paris, Prague and Copenhagen, I saved the highlights: the FOOD. 

First stop, Paris: 

After a long flight, our friend Selim greeted us at the airport with some beers, and brought us back to his apartment for a home made dinner. Pictured above: babaganoosh, rice, and turkey kebabs.

While in Paris we made sure to stop for crepes and churros near the Place de la Bastille.

We visited Monmarte, and I snapped a photo fo these irresistible treats in the window. 

 ... and of course we took the time to stop in a candy store.

Off to Prague...
The highlight of food in Prague is definitely on the street. Sausages, hot wine, hot chocolate, and my favorite, Smayzeny, which is basically a fried cheese sandwich. All of it was so good after miles of walking and lots of beer.

Speaking of Beer...Pilsner, Pilsner and more Pilsner was had. My favorite beer.

And then Jamie brought me to Pivarsky Club, a restaurant we saw on the Prague episode of Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations. They have the largest selection of beer in Europe, and you order meat  by the kilogram. We enjoyed a few beers, bacon dumplings and an incredible pork knuckle. Don't knock it until you try it! 

Bacon Dumplings
Pork Knuckle (before)

Pork Knuckle (after)

While in Prague, it is important to drink the obligatory Absinth. Here it is, all aflame:

I didn't see any green fairies, but it did get me feeling buzzy.  The last stop in Prague was some goulash, and more bacon dumpling. Mmmm....

And then to Copenhagen...

We enjoyed a good amount of the local Carlsburg and Tuborg brews. I had a hearty burger and fries the first night. We met up with some friends and had many schnaps, bitters, aquavit, etc. I don't know what you want to call it, but we had it! 

After a full day of touring and visiting the Carlsberg Brewery, we found a cozy bar called Von Fressen, and enjoyed some hummus and open sandwiches (smorgasbord?).

I don't think mine was very traditional, but it was delicous: pancakes, grilled goat cheese, beets, walnuts and maple syrup.

Jamie enjoyed break with ham, cheese, peppers, pesto, etc. Both sandwiches were soo good!

You can't go to Denmark without having dessert! Pictured below are a traditional danish pastry, along with some cakey, chocolatey strawberry goodness. We also had waffels with soft ice cream. mmm. 

And that is my trip in food. For more about my actual trip, feel free to hop on over to The Happy Shopaholic.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Triple Hot Chocolate Teaser

Hello bloggies! I'm back from Europe in one piece! I had an incredible trip. We went to Paris, Prague and Copenhagen. I ate (and drank) my way through the cities, and still managed to lose some weight form all the walking! 

I have a lot of photos to sort through, but in the meantime I thought I would leave you with this:

Triple hot chocolate. There is nothing like a warm cup of chocolatey goodness when it's cold and rainy outside! I was daydreaming of this drink that I had in Copenhagen while sipping on bland watery office hot chocolate today. Baresso, the "Starbucks" of Denmark if you will, serves up steamed milk with three sticks of chocolate (I think they were white, milk and dark). Stirring them around and watching the chocolate melt is half the fun! 

I should have brought some chocolate sticks home with me but Baresso, like Starbucks, was CRAZY expensive.

I promise to share more from the trip soon!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Glowing Green

So one of my bridesmaids broke her jaw on New Year’s Eve and had to have her teeth wired shut for four weeks.  What a nice start to the year, right?!  Like me, I’m sure you’re wondering if she was KO'd in the midst of valiantly defending someone.  Well, according to her, it went something like this...5 inch heels + too many cocktails + pavement = broken jaw.  It sounds like an angry piece of roadside curb jumped out at her or something.  Poor thing.

I digress.

The reason I’m telling you that unfortunate story is because she quickly found out that when your jaw is wired shut, you cannot eat like a normal person.  In fact, it is a four-week liquid-only diet (I still cannot believe how she got through that)!  Therefore – she quickly found herself immersed into the world of Ensure and green juices.

Fresh off my cleanse and having just received my shiny new juicer as a late Christmas gift – I was also in the market for some good juice-making.  That is when she introduced me to her favorite – and now my favorite – green juice in the whole world: Glowing Green.

Spinach (2-3 cups)
Romaine (4-5 stalks)
Celery (3-4 stalks)
Pear(s) (1 or 2)
Apple(s) (1 or 2)
Squeeze of fresh lemon

Glowing Green (Yum!)

Juice in that order, swirl a bit, top off with lemon squeeze and a fun straw and you get this delicious, nutritious and refreshing Glowing Green beauty! I like my juice extra green, but if you prefer something sweeter you can add more fruit or reduce the amount of veggies. Don't forget the lemon, it helps with the alkalizing effect, and is great in helping to detoxify the liver and kidneys.

This is a great light breakfast, post-workout snack or refreshing addition to any meal. (I also used it as part of a hangover cure one morning, which I think helped too!)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sausage and Kale Pasta

I have a new favorite four –letter word (and a new favorite food too)! K-A-L-E. I have been using kale in EVERYTHING this week! I just finished a lovely kale and apple salad, I’ve been drinking green juice with kale almost every morning, I made kale chips, I’ve incorporated it into my dinners…I’m an all-around kaleaholic.

We’ll get to all of the delicious items I just listed out eventually, but today I would like to tell you about the sausage and kale pasta I made for dinner Monday night (and then lunch on Tuesday AND Wednesday).

Monday was one of those days where I came home from work and my boyfriend had defrosted meat with no thought of the full “dinner” it would be a part of; that detail was obviously up to me. The meat of choice on this particular night was hot Italian sausage. Usually we sauté the meat with green onions or mozzarella cheese and make Italian sandwiches which is delicious, but not the healthiest option. Not to mention it would have also required another trip to the grocery store.

Not wanting to climb back down the five flights of stairs (I know, I know…LAZY), I decided to concoct something out of the food in my kitchen. You’ve done this too, I’m sure. I pulled an inventory of what was in my fridge and decided I couldn’t resist incorporating kale into the meal. Thus, my sausage and kale pasta was born!

Sausage and Kale Pasta


  • 4  Italian Sausages (casing Removed)
  • Olive Oil
  •  Lemon Juice
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese

1. In a large saucepan, chop up and sauté sausage until cooked, and set aside.

1b. At the same time, boil water for pasta, and add the pasta when water comes to a boil. I like any tube-shaped pasta for this dish. I went with ziti.

2. In the same pan, add a bit more oil and the garlic, sautéing until garlic is brown.

3. Add kale and saute about 8 minutes – it will take on the spicy meaty flavor of the sausage and the garlic – your taste buds are not ready for this!

3b. Drain pasta when ready (use the time instructions on the box!)

When kale is finished cooking, add sausage and drained pasta into pan, sauté for a minute or two, and spritz with lemon. Add salt, pepper and parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy!

I loved this so much that I sautéed up some extra kale and packed two days of lunches with the leftovers!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

January Wrap-up/January Goal: Start New Habits

I know this is a very long, first-post-ever.  But bear with me – I just tried something I never thought I’d ever seriously do.  I did a three-day cleanse.  Yes, I know what you’re thinking – don’t judge - I used to be in your shoes.

I had been talking about it forever, but came to believe I was just all talk when it came to my curiosity about cleanses – and I was ok with that.  I’ve heard of the fruit-only kind, the “Beyonce diet” (also known as the Master Cleanse) and the juice only detoxes.  I’ve always been both parts skeptical and curious.  A few months ago, my coworker, who admittedly is no health-nut herself, decided to try the blue print cleanse

Hence the reason I’m writing this post.  Yes, my curiosity (or test of self-discipline I came to fine out…) got the best of me.  The blueprint cleanse has three levels: Renovation, Foundation and Excavation.  Sounds pretty serious with all of those “tions”!  I chose the first level, since this was my first-ever try at a real cleanse - to ease into my 3-day relationship with juice, just juice and only juice - Day 1 consisted of the “juice til dinner’ option.  Which they don’t actually consider part of the “cleanse”, but I mean – any attempt at drinking only healthy juices until 6pm and eating a simple raw food dinner is a cleanse to me!!  I digress.  Days 2 & 3, the juice, just juice and only juice marathons were quite different than Day 1. 

Day 1 began with the first of 4 juices I would have that day.  Beginning with the grassy, earthy, outrageously healthy-tasting green juice for breakfast.  I’m normally used to having oatmeal or yogurt with a load of honey for breakfast – so this green drink instead of my typical hearty and sweet start to the day was a tough pill to swallow.  After around 10:30am, I made it through.  To keep myself feeling full, they recommend drinking green or herbal teas and water.  I have to say – my coworker who had done this (actually twice) before, would always brag about how she was never hungry, not once – couldn’t even FINISH some of the juices because she was just so sloshy inside and so never suffered the feeling of a rumbling tummy. I DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT!!  Two more juices in, I was craving solid food like it was air and was wondering what the hell I got myself into.  Don’t get me wrong – most days, I’m a naturally healthy eater.  I love my salads, fish and chicken – and would rather eat a kashi cookie then a homemade brownie – wait, that part isn’t true at all ; )  Anyway – my body was craving food, and so I could not WAIT for my raw-foods dinner that night.  The second, third and fourth juices can be described as the following: 2. PAM (pineapple, apple, mint): Refreshing, super sweet after the first green drink, but overall enjoyable.  3. Another one of those grass – I mean – green juices (supposed to be the best one for you – of COURSE it is). 4. Spicy Lemonade: similar to the Master Cleanse potion of lemon juice, agave nectar, cayenne pepper – very refreshing actually.  So then finally – home from work that night, for all of my whining earlier in the day, I actually felt light on my feet and a bit energized since I was allowed to have my “snack” on my way home after the juices – a raw foods cashew bar (it was pretty yummy).  Knowing I just had and could look forward to actual solid food, I was feeling ambitious and hit the gym for a light workout since I read somewhere that it’s good to “sweat out” the toxins when you’re cleansing. Sure, why not – go big, or go home, right?  Home from the gym, I opened my spicy kale salad and Mediterranean quinoa (they have a rotating JTD menu) and found that I couldn’t even finish them both!  Feeling almost a little too full – I tried the little dessert that comes with the meal: raw chocolate mousse.  It tasted like chocolate chalk.  I was done eating for the night.

Day 2 – Torture.  I was convinced the green juices in particular had some secret ingredient in them that actually altered my mood into a jeckle-like crankiness.  I kept to myself at work that day – and my close team of coworkers noticed how unusually quiet my cubical was as I downed juice after juice, in between green tea and water – desperately trying to feel full watching the minutes tick by before it was time for the next juice that would make me feel full for twenty more minutes.  I thought – I’m never doing this again, humans are meant to eat, I can afford food, why would I choose not to eat when there are starving people in Ethiopia and yet I’m seemingly starving myself by choice.  What was I doing to myself???  Finally home, I was utterly exhausted, after my 5th juice, CAB (Apple, Carrot, Beet, Lemon Ginger), Strong ginger taste, very beet-y.  Ready for “dinner”, I was really curious about the 6th and last juice – er, milk – the “beloved” Cashew Milk.  I had heard so much hype over this stuff.  People’s Revolution’s, Kelly Cutrone, described it as, “like you’re having the best rice pudding you’ve ever had in your life”.  Really??  It tastes like CHALK, people!  The only thing I remotely enjoyed about it on Day 2 was that, as the thickest juice (milk) of them all, it made me feel the fullest after a long day of juicing – and that I was thankful for.  After my last sip of the cashew/agave nectar/cinnamon/chalk-flavored elixir, I still had to wait two hours until bedtime – as recommended by BPC.  Once it was time to curl up into bed, I slept like a baby.  How could all of this liquid take so much out of you by hardly putting anything in you?

Day 3. I FELT GREAT!  Almost, almost looking forward to my green juice for breakfast – I felt like I had an epiphany.  I finally found my rhythm with these juices.  Drinking them more slowly and with more water/tea (yes, I must admit I probably peed about 20 times/day) so I had time to feel full enough (or, you know, my stomach had just shrunk to nothingness).  Day 3 was a breeze compared to Day 2 – I started apologizing to my coworkers for my crankiness and whining – this wasn’t so bad.  I finally knew what to expect when each juice came, and I guzzled them (slowly) like a pro.  When the cashew milk came at dinnertime, I looked at my fiance’s pad thai he had ordered, and was glad I didn’t have to make my stomach digest those long, starchy noodles.  I was almost proud.

The day after, I felt like a pure, wise, experienced juicer – and was actually worried about spoiling this feeling of enlightenment with solid foods.  As suggested by BPC, I started my day with melon – it was the most delicious melon I’d ever tasted in my life – but I still wanted to be careful with introducing myself to the world of food again. 

The next few days I was both cautious and conscious of everything I put in my mouth, and more-so, how it made me feel.  A month later, I can’t say I’m still an angel when it comes to what I’ve been eating day-to-day, but the experience definitely left it’s mark in ways I had hoped.  I’ve been actively using my juicer I have at home and realize how amazing a kale salad can both taste and make you feel.  My diet is back to being much more veggie-based these days (two weeks before the cleanse, you could find me at La Birreria in Eataly eating blood sausage…), and for the most part, I’ve been eating whole foods with simple preparations.

All in all, I would recommend this 3-day cleanse to anyone who’s curious, or wants to start anew on the right foot. I could definitely see myself doing it again – perhaps leading up to my wedding…not eating can certainly make a girl feel skinny!!  That being said, this is NOT meant to be a diet.  If you are expecting to lose weight on this, expect to gain it back too.  This is meant to be more of a simple detox to flush out toxins and help to “restart” healthy eating habits – if that’s what you’re looking for.

Have you tried any cleanses you’d recommend?  I’d be curious to learn about cleanses that include foods and make you feel great too.

Feel good -

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Christina's Birthday Dinner(s) Recap

If you’re a female in your 20s I will put good money on the fact that you likely celebrate your birthday for three nights or more – it is NEVER a one-day event. I myself am no different, despite my strong effort this year to not make a big deal out of my 25th birthday. I had a total of four birthday dinners, and two big nights out on the town. Here is this recap:

Tuesday, January 31FRIENDS COME TO TOWN.  It wasn’t even my birth month yet, but that didn’t stop five of my closest friends from across the river (and across town for some) to my UES apartment for a mini celebration. Some wanted to do restaurant week, but I opted for pizza and wine in the apartment. Per Alycia’s recommendation, I picked up a couple of bottles of Ménage à Trois vino.

Let me tell you, it was a good choice! All of it – the pizza, the wine, staying in - I hadn’t seen these friends in so long, and being able to have a cozy night in was much better than sitting in a noisy restaurant. We wrapped up the night with some birthday ice cream at Serendipity.

Thursday, February 2 DINNER OUT WITH THE BOYFRIEND. Feeling a little restaurant week deprived, my boyfriend Jamie and I ventured out to City Crab for birthday dinner #2. I had scouted their restaurant week menu, and was honestly just itching for some crab cakes. When we got there and saw the extensive seafood menu we just couldn’t help ourselves, we wound up both straying from the restaurant week options and getting delicious pots of assorted seafood. They had clams, mussels, crab, lobster, scallops and I don’t know what else! So good!

Friday, February 3 – MY REAL BIRTHDAY. On Friday I took the day off from work with three intentions: gyming, shopping and cooking. I accomplished all three. I made my first attempt at stuffed pork chops! I butterfly cut each cutlet, and stuffed them with a mixture of spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and goat cheese, most of which I had chopped very finely with the food processor. I then baked them for about 20 minutes and served with a rice, spinach and mushroom medly. They weren’t bad! The only thing I would do differently next time, is brown the outside of the pork chops prior to baking.

Saturday, February 4 – THE FAMILY DINNER. On Saturday, boyfriend and I trekked out to NJ to have a nice family dinner with my parents, brother and grandmother. I chose Jose Tejas, my favorite Mexican restaurant in this world. I usually (always) get the vegetarian empanadas, but this time Jamie suggested that we share the fajitas for two. Another great choice! I went home happy, and had some of my mom’s homemade chocolate cakes (the best!). Sorry – no pictures!

I would say that I exercised my goal to explore pretty much all birthday weekend. This Saturday I leave for Paris, Prague and Copenhagen, and I guarantee I will have more adventurous eats to report on upon my return!

Friday, February 3, 2012

February Goal: Exploration

Another month means another goal. Last month we embarked on setting new habits for the New Year. I have to say, I think I was quite successful. I joined a Wednesday spin class, and also tripled my time in the gym (easy to do when you're starting from one day a week)! I started eating breakfast at home, and bringing my lunch to work, which has been lovely for my wallet. I think I will keep the January goal in mind for as long as I can, and keep trying to create good, healthy habits.

Now that the healthy stuff is out of the way, I'd like to introduce our much more fun February goal: Exploration. February is always an exciting month for me. My birthday is on the third (TODAY!), Valentine's Day is in the middle of the month, and just when you thought you couldn't handle another full work week: BAM! Presidents' Day lets your off the hook. Not to mention, NYC Restaurant Week is Jan. 20 - Feb. 20, and I'm going to Europe from February 11th to the 21st. A month of exploring through food it will be!

That's all for now, but look forward to a "Birthday food" recap at the end of this weekend! Here's a preview: