Sunday, May 28, 2023

Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Salad

This was a super easy salad, and so good served over labneh with pita bread. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Monsaraz, Portugal

On our recent trip to Portugal and Spain, we wanted a stop en route back from Sevilla to Lisbon and stumbled across Monsaraz and we are so glad we did. I remember driving to the hillside village through an ancient archway over the cobbled streets to arrive at the AirBnB and being blown away by this beautiful and ancient abode with views over the countryside below. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Tips for Lisbon

We recently visited Lisbon or Lisboa the capital of Portugal, we came at the start of our trip to Portugal and Spain. We stayed the first couple of nights in Belem a neighborhood along the Tagus River near the 16th Century Tower of Belém. It was a lovely quiet area about 25 min to the center of the city by bus or Uber. It has lovely local bakeries and it was so nice in the mornings seeing all the locals from all walks of life enjoying their coffee and pastries.
It also has a wonderful botanical garden called the Tropical Botanical Garden, once called The Colonial Garden it was founded in 1912 by the Jerónimos Monastery. There is a little more about it here and apparently, it was neglected for many years, you can really see this in one of the Greenhouses that's all overgrown. It is home to ducks and peacocks and has some lovely tropical greens and peaceful places to sit. 

Address: Largo dos Jerónimos, 1400-209 Lisboa, Portugal

Another thing we did was take a guided walking tour from Airbnb with Xenia, we really enjoyed this tour through the Alfama neighborhood, one of Lisbons' oldest neighborhoods. In fact one of the few places that survived the devastating Earthquake of 1755. The guide was funny and genuine maybe not everyone's cup of tea but I learned a lot from her. About the people and their resilience in this city and country, it has changed over the centuries and has seen many hard times economically with a dictatorship under António de Oliveira Salazar. Many people went overseas to seek work.  

The country has seen a few economic crises and bailouts and austerity measures. The guide in fact shared that when houses were left empty as people moved overseas the government would sell them. Houses in the Alfama area are now very expensive. Families who have been there for generations are proud and live in old homes. I was surprised to learn that some do not have a washing machine or shower and the locals use community laundries and these are by hand! there is a picture below. The area has cool shops, street art, and a great vibe. 

Unforgettable Lisbon walking Tour with Xenia 

This street art was particularly cool as it used tiles as its medium which is traditional in Portugal. 

Beautiful and ancient house.

one of the many amazing views.

The laundry room

Here you can see the effects of the earthquake on the building and yet it still stands.

I would highly recommend a tour with Xenia. It was also fascinating to learn that many thousands of Americans have been moving to Portugal in the last couple of years due to a golden visa scheme many are digital nomads and invest in properties. While this is good for investment it has recently been stopped as it's hurting local people who struggle with lower salaries many only making 1000-2000 Euros a month and struggling to afford rent. Most folks can't afford to live in the Center but stay in High rise apartments on the outside of the city center. These are complex issues and with high inflation presently there have been recent protests by transport workers, teachers and others for better conditions and pay. 

Of course while in Portugal you must have a Pastel de nata a custard tart you can find these all over the city, one of our favorites was  Santo António R. do Milagre de Santo António 10, 1100-351 Lisboa, Portugal they are heavenly when warm. 

Another super cool area to visit is LX Factory a hip old factory area with shops, cafes and restaurants. 
We ate in The Therapist tasty and healthy options. We also had a dessert and coffee. 

Here is the address Address: R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa, Portugal

After the first couple of days in Lisbon, we took a car, visited the Algarve for a night, and then drove to Sevilla in Spain and  Jerez de la Frontera to see an Andalusian horse show (this was Magic!) then back for a couple of nights in Monsaraz an ancient little hillside village in Portugal this place was really special. 

When we returned to Lisbon after being through rural areas and seeing the big picture Lisbon really grow on us. It's a city with a rich history and resilient friendly people, with a bright future. 

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Carrot Pilaf

This is a super easy recipe, and a fun way to use carrots, adding shredded carrots to rice is fun and adds nice flavor and color. 


  • 2 medium carrots grated
  • one cup of basmati rice 
  • 2 cups of water 
  • 1 tablespoon of Turkish spices (I got this from Penzeys)
  • one small zucchini chopped
  • 2 gloves of chopped garlic 
  • one small onion chopped
  • salt to taste 
  • a pinch of mustard seeds 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  1. sauce onion, garlic, mustard seeds in a little canola oil, with the zucchini for 5-7 min
  2. add the spices and garlic, salt to taste 
  3. then add the rice and 2 cups of water
  4. cook for about 15-20 min in a pan with a lid and try to keep the lid on.
  5. enjoy 

We just returned from a fun trip to Portugal and Spain a fun road trip taking in history, a Spanish horse show and so much more, stay tuned for blog posts!

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Monday, March 20, 2023

Roasted Vegetables

I have been really enjoying this recently, it's simply a medley of roasted cubed vegetables, you can use whatever is in season, its great as a side dish or for breakfast or lunch with a fried egg. 


  • 2 white potato cubed 
  • 2 sweet potato cubed 
  • 2 beetroot cubed 
  • 1/4 of a medium eggplant cubed 
  • a dash of Italian herbs 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • about a tablespoon of olive oil 
  • about 1/4 of a teaspoon  of paprika and chipotle pepper 

1. cube the vegetables, with the beetroot using a glove is wise then boil them for about 15 min until soft
2. then add the veggies to a baking sheet with the oil and spices and bake at 425 for 15-20 until crispy.  

Happy spring everyone. 


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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Salmon and Vegetable Soup

I made this simple and nourishing soup recently it was the perfect light meal before I attended a local business networking meeting where I spoke on self-care and Nutrition. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Barley Salad

This is a simple and tasty salad, that makes a great side dish or lunch. 

Barley salad 

  • 1/2 cups of barley 
  • 10 cherry tomatoes 
  • 1/2 a chopped cucumber 
  • A pinch of parsley 
  • A handful of feta 

For the dressing 
- 1/2 teaspoon of Italian herbs and a pinch or chipotle pepper, 2 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoons sugar 

1. Cook the barley in boiling water for 25 min then drain and place on a baking sheet to dry for 15 min 
2. Then chop the tomato and cucumber and mix with barley 
3. Add the dressing and feta 

Barley is a whole grain and a wonderful source of soluble fiber, it helps to have a good lipid profile and lower your risk of heart disease. 

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Borscht with Leeks

I adore Borscht and leeks so I figured why not combine the two, 

Borscht with leeks 


- 5 small beets I used golden and red beets peeled and grated use gloves for this
- 2 cloves of garlic 
- 3 leeks sliced 
- 3 carrots cut into little pieces 
- 3 small sweet red, and yellow peppers diced 
- 3 potatoes cubed 
- One carton of vegetable stock and about 2 cups of water 
- 1/2 teaspoon of Italian herbs 
- 3 tablespoons of ketchup I saw this on another recipe and it works I used one from Italian made with balsamic vinegar 
- Salt to taste 
- One stalk of celery chopped 


1. Sauté the leek, garlic, celery, and peppers in olive oil for 7-10 min until soft 
2. Then add all the vegetables - beetroot, potato, and carrot and the stock, water, and herbs and then down to a simmer for 30-45 min 
3. Enjoy 

See below for a clip of how to do it.

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Sunday, January 8, 2023

Aba Bal Harbour, Miami

We recently visited South Florida and I read an article about this Mediterranean restaurant chain that had opened a restaurant in Miami, as a family we love this cuisine. This is a lovely restaurant in a high-end mall that's beautifully landscaped with koi fish ponds and palm trees. 


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