Sesame Zoodles

This is a great recipe and vegan! I adapted this from a Rachael Ray recipe I had never tried, but since I really like a lot of her flavor profiles, I knew I’d enjoy it!


What I love about this recipe is how quickly it comes together! Using zoodles instead of pasta is not only much healthier, but it’s faster too! No waiting for your water to boil, making sure the pasta doesn’t stick and then draining. It’s pretty much a one-pan meal!

I will spiralize whenever I can. I use this one and I prefer it over the others (which yes I have tried a few) because it’s gravity-driven instead of horizontal. It’s just easier to use and it’s dishwasher-safe. When you check out the link, there is a free e-coobook halfway down the page!


Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 7.35.17 PMSesame Zoodles
Serves 4

3 medium zucchini, spiralized into linguine-size zoodles
1 large carrot, grated
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/4 cup tamari or coconut aminos
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the tamari, tahini, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger until smooth. Set aside to let the flavors blend.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the zoodles and grated carrot and sauté 2 minutes.
  3. Add the sauce and toss to mix. Heat through 3 minutes or until bubbly.
  4. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with the green onions and sesame seeds.



Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

What We’ve Been Eating

Bill has been traveling so much lately!  I’m so happy that after this weekend, he’ll be home until the end of July. Then later in fall, he’ll be back on the road again for almost 7 weeks (with stops at home over the weekends). I love and am so thankful that he’s so busy!

Here’s what I’ve been making over the last week…


This recipe came from the new cookbook, Inspiralized & Beyond. It’s the Sesame Shrimp & Green Beans with Scallion Kohlrabi Rice. This recipe serves 4 but we loved it so much, we ate the whole thing!


Bill had a guy’s night out so for him, I made Jalapeño Popper Pizzas. As I suspected, they went fast and the gentlemen enjoyed them!


While he was out with the guys, I had the ladies over and tried another recipe from Inspiralized & Beyond. The girls were a bit unsure at first, but one bite of these BLT Sweet Potato Sliders with Cilantro Lime Avocado May and  they were sold just like I was when I tried them at the book signing!


This was a recipe I had been dying to try for such a long time and after a long, long story, I was unable to because of the demise of my former waffle iron. Thankfully my older sister surprised me with a new one and I tested this! This Sweet Potato Waffle is from the first Inspiralized cookbook. I LOVED this!  It will definitely make the rotation for breakfast (or dinner when Bill is away!)



Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!


Sheet Pan Frittata

IMG_2096Sheet pan meals are so popular.  I love this one because you can make it the night before, refrigerate it and then bake it off in the morning!

Plus, it’s so versatile!  Don’t like mushrooms?  No problem… pop on some ham or sausage!  Have cheese-lovers in your house?  Sprinkle on a combination of cheddar and parmesan!  (This version is dairy-free).

Recipes like these are some of my favorites because they are more than recipes… they are guidelines.  You can take the basics of the recipe (the ingredient measurements) and timing and make it whatever you want.


Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 6.16.59 PMSheet Pan Frittata
Serves 12

1 large russet potato, spiralized
1 egg
2 tablespoons olive oil

10 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 red bell pepper, spiralized

  1. Heat the oven to 325˚F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the spiralized potato and cook, tossing, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg. When the potato is softened, add it to the bowl and toss. Lay the potatoes in an even layer in the bottom of a 9×13 rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  4. Lay the mushrooms, green onions and red pepper over the potato layer.
  5. In the same bowl, mix the eggs and water. Pour over the vegetables and tilt the pan if necessary to even out.
  6. Bake 35 minutes or until set.




Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Inspiralized & Beyond Book Signing

IMG_1951About two months ago, one of my favorite food bloggers and cookbook authors posted in her Facebook group that she was planning a book signing in New York City on May 1st, the day her latest cookbook became available.  I had already pre-ordered her book and was excited to head up to the city to attend!

I asked my sister who lives in NYC to go with me so we met up for a drink at Terroir and then headed over to Maman Tribeca for the event.  When we arrived, there was Ali being so gracious greeting everyone and a HUGE spread of food from the new book!

Some of the recipes we tried were the Vegan Cheese Ball, Ricotta & Fig Golden Beet Crostini, the Zucchini Pork Dumplings and BLT Sweet Potato Sliders.  I loved all of them!  (My sis wasn’t so keen on the Cheese Ball though!)

IMG_1863Since I knew I was attending the signing, I change the shipping on my pre-ordered book to my oldest sister for her birthday.  Unfortunately, when we arrived at the signing, they didn’t have books for purchase.  But Ali being on the ball, had stickers she signed and personalized for our books!  The next morning my first stop was at Barnes & Noble to pick up two copies!

I knew I’d love the book when she shared on IG some of the chapter contents.  Everything sounded delicious!  I’ve been cooking from her other two cookbooks for the last few months and have yet to try anything that I didn’t love.  She just knows how things should go together and features other things I would have never thought to try.

My favorite part of the book is “how to go beyond”.  This was the info that I’ve been searching for!  Ideas like how to use vegetable slabs to replace toast, using jicama as taco shells and using mushrooms and lentils to replace meats.

IMG_1952Last week she did a live demo of her Hoisin-Pulled Hearts of Palm with Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Ginger-Lime Slaw.  I can’t wait to give that recipe a try!  I went to the store this morning and the recipes in the lineup this week to try out are the Chickpea “Tuna” Salad with Avocado & Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Shrimp & Green Beans with Scallion Kohlrabi Rice and the Chicken Saltimboca Skillet with Spinach & Rosemary Potatoes.

Ali has been such an inspiration to me and I’m excited to test a recipe this week… revamping an old favorite to make it healthier and GF/DF (more on that later this week!)

It was such a wonderful few days in NYC and meeting Ali was so special.  She was so kind and gracious!  She took her time to talk to everyone who came and took pictures as well.  She’s very, very inspiring!

Extreme Self Care

IMG_1695When I was working with my lifecoach, one thing she stressed was Extreme Self Care.  When I first came across this idea in her first book, I thought that I did this.  I should mention that I first read that book in 2002 (the original… she’s published an updated version since).  As time has gone on, I’ve realized that in some sense, I have done this, but in many ways I’ve come up very short.

12 days ago, Bill left for an overseas business trip.  I was bound and determined to make our time apart a self-care mini vaca!  I planned to spend the two weeks we would be apart doing things that were all about me… working out, trying new recipes, spending time with my friends, etc.

The first night was fantastic. I went down to my neighbors house to hang out with her and another girlfriend. Their kids were there an in addition the fun conversation and lots of wine, we made s’mores over the fire. Well, they did!  I opted to stick to my eating plan.

I had predetermined that my first day off I would do nothing.  And I meant NOTHING.  I would lay around and read, watch movies and nap.  I was *almost* successful.  I did get outside and work in the yard for an hour.  Then I came in and spent the rest of the day being extremely lazy.  It was wonderful, and also hard. I had to discipline myself to not start a load of laundry, tidy up, or do any of the other dozen things I felt like I should be doing.  It ended up being blissful!

Sunday morning I got up and began my workouts.  The plan was to workout every day until Bill came back. Remind me again what they say about “best laid plans”?  Right.  Well, that day went well.  I did laundry, grocery shopped, prepped my food and lunch for the week.  It was perfect.

Monday I got up and worked out before heading in to the office.  But during the afternoon the scratchy throat and coughing began.  I brushed it off to the weather changes, burning myself out (the previous week had been very hectic) and every other excuse I could come up with so I could be in denial about what was really going on.

When I woke up Tuesday morning, I knew. I had the flu.

Out the door went my workouts and everything else I had intended on doing during my self-care mini vaca.  That was just over a week ago.  This past weekend was a complete wash as I spent 90% of it in bed with a fever.  On Monday I went to the office because I was feeling better but was sent home after 2.5 hours because I looked and sounded miserable.

IMG_1759Needless to say, I have not exercised in over a week and I have done almost zero cooking for myself.  Thankfully Bill loves his foodsaver and has our freezer stocked.  There were plenty of meals in there ready to go for dinner.

After I left the office Monday, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up what I needed to make some soup.  I had made the Easy Clear Onion Soup from Inspiralized in January when we ate vegan for the month and remembered how much I loved it. I just love it because it’s the perfect comfort food. Usually my go-to recipe when I wouldn’t be feeling well was this one, but that was in my pre-PHPT days.

Thankfully now I am on the upswing and will be 100% for Bill’s return and the other fun things we have planned for this weekend including going to see my neighbor and her husband perform in this!

What We Ate This Week

Last Sunday I did my shopping but didn’t do any prep for the week as I was still feeling lousy from the cold I’ve been fighting and we had been up late the night before attending the Winter Jubilee.  On the menu were persimmons but neither store I went to had them so someone suggested plums or mangoes and since it’s a warm dish, I felt plums would be best.

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 5.17.16 PMSunday night we had Meatballs with Brussels Sprouts from The Fresh20 Paleo menu.  The meatballs weren’t sensational but I like to try recipes the way they are written the first time without changes (I’ll eat those words later, literally).  I should have known better as I was making them but I forged ahead and while they were fine, they weren’t great.  The Brussels Sprouts were amazing!

Monday I was super excited as I LOVE LOVE LOVE scallops!  The original recipe was Scallops with Warm Persimmon Salad. This dish was gorgeous to make and even better to eat!  The plums were sensational and this was a gorgeous meal to serve.  And you can never, ever go wrong with scallops!  It would be great for a dinner party!

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 5.17.03 PMWednesday I had a PC party so Bill’s sister made us dinner of steak, sweet potato and salad.  At the party I made Warm Vegetable Dip (which they devoured in a hot second) and Chocolate Lava Cake with Homemade Whipped Cream.

Thursday I was excited to get back in the kitchen… it was a long day on my feet (excited that chapter will be ending soon) and the Rustic Sausage Soup was perfect.  I added in a can of cannellini beans.  PC has a great recipe that is similar that has the beans.

Friday called for Chicken Ragu over Zoodles but I opted to make the Bikini Bolognese from Inspiralized.  That recipe NEVER disappoints.  So that is when I decided that, going forward, if I am reading a recipe and can tell right out of the gate it’s not going to be amazing, I can make it amazing.  I’m not new in the kitchen and I feel like I finally know what flavors go together and I have enough resources to find what I need.  Life’s too short to eat bland food, right?

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 5.16.26 PMTonight I hadn’t planned to cook because we have leftovers in the fridge, I had a late lunch and I’m not sure I’m in the mood but what is left on the menu is Tamale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Now that I’m thinking about it, yeah… it’s not going to happen. My ground beef is still frozen.  Plus, it’s just me tonight.  If someone else were here, I’d definitely be cooking.  

On another note, I renewed my StitchFix subscription and have my first box arriving next week!  Since I will be working more at Job#3 in the near future, I need some more business-appropriate attire.

Now, saving the best for last!  This week Pampered Chef revealed our NEW Spring/Summer products!  I’m so excited to be able to talk about them now!  Keeping them under wraps for five weeks was TOUGH, especially since I’ve been using the new skillets almost every day.  Not only are they gorgeous but they are exceptional!

See anything you like?  You can shop my kitchen anytime by clicking HERE!

So I think that is it for now… my quiet evening ahead consists of eating leftovers (I’m thinking that soup will be perfect), catching up on my reading (I’m currently reading this book that I started last summer!) and possibly a movie (aka whatever is on the Hallmark channel!)