Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Happy Sunday, loves! I hope this finds you enjoying a wonderful weekend. After a quiet weekend at home with my sweet husband (same as Velvet Husband . . . I assure you, there’s only one!), I’m making a comeback thanks to sleep, lots of water and hot tea, vitamins, purple monster smoothies with vega powder, requisite hubby attention, leisure reading, dark chocolate, and Get Well Soon Oats. Oh, and these babies. 

This ah-mazing recipe for quinoa stuffed bell peppers comes to us courtesy of the lovely Mama Pea. Oh. my. yum. Be sure to check out Mama’s Pea’s blog, Peas and Thank You, if you’re in the mood for incredible vegan recipes that taste decidedly un-vegan. I seriously can’t say enough great things about her blog — she’s amazing!

I was excited to see that Mama Pea recommended topping the peppers with guacamole because Velvet Husband is fan numero uno of guacamole proper. I say guacamole proper because we here at the Red Velvet Household are rather picky particular about our guacamole. I’m happy to report that this combination passes the Texan test and tastes delicious on almost anything . . . of the savory variety of course. I wouldn’t pair it with peanut butter or bananas, but that’s up to y’all. 😉

Texpat Guacamole


  • 2 ripe avocados, mashed
  • 1 organic Tomato, diced
  • hot sauce (I love Grandma Tutu’s Hot Sauce, but just use your favorite!)
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • Juice from 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


In a bowl, mash ingredients together with a fork. Garnish with extra cilantro. Insert chip. Eat and repeat. This makes a nice topping for pan-seared halibut and pan-seared salmon, too. As far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit when it comes to guacamole. Enjoy! Makes enough for 2-3 hungry Tex-Mex foodies.

Also, I have some big news to share about where Velvet Husband and I are moving next month! Stay tuned, sweet friends! I’d say family, too, but they already know. 😉


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You might recall that I went through a breakfast pizza phase last week, but this week I’m back to my old favorite. Let’s talk about this hopeless devoation of ours mine. Though I would argue things look rather hopeful, don’t you think?

Sometimes when I try to explain to friends and family that peanut butter, dark chocolate, and oats create a delicious and nutritious breakfast, they look at me like I’m speaking in binary code. As if I’m having a blonde moment. Opposite ends of the spectrum, you say? I beg to differ, but that’s neither here nor there. However, if we’re subscribing to “conventional wisdom” (pah!) concerning aforementioned so-called blonde moment (again, pah!), this just goes to show how varied are the reactions I get. It’s like people think I’m eating dessert for breakfast or something.

*Cough!* Okay, so maybe I am. But you know what? I’m cool with that. Consider this my z-snap in a bowl. It’s my [chocolatey] way of getting back at fad diets and others who send the message that people — especially women — should diet, restrict, and deprive in pursuit of some elusive betterment. For those keeping score, it’s Kristen: 10 and Fad diets: -10. 😉

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.

Julia Child

He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”

Michael Pollan

Whipped Banana Dark Chocolate Oats


  • 1/2 cup Old-Fashioned Oats (I prefer Gluten Free for the consistency)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 banana, sliced into chunks
  • 1 tsp Pure Dutch Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 Dark Chocolate square (I alternate between TCHO dark chocolate squares, Ghiradelli, and Lindt 85% Cacao, but you can use anything with high cacao content.)


  • 1 Dark Chocolate square
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter or 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp coconut flakes
  • Organic blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries (or all of the above if you prefer “Kitchen Sink” oatmeal. For the Russofiles in the house, this might remind you of the Kitchen Sink Dessert at the Starlite Diner in Moscow.)


Bring water to boil in a deep saucepan. When water reaches a rolling boil, add oats and stir, gradually lowering heat while oats cook. Add banana slices and stir in with oats. Continue whipping bananas as oats cook at a low setting. Several minutes later, add chia seeds. When oats are nearly cooked, add cacao powder and dark chocolate square; stir until well-incorporated. Serve in bowl and add toppings of your choice.

Note to milk-lovers: I prefer my oats sans milk, but feel free to add milk of your choice to your oats when they are nearly cooked, a la KERF whipped banana oats. My husband prefers his oats with milk (more like Kath’s), so I always prepare our batches in separate saucepans.

What is your favorite breakfast? Do you like to change it up, or do you eat the same breakfast everyday? 

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Now that we’re back in San Francisco, Velvet Husband and I were craving a comforting homemade supper last night. I settled on a simple soup recipe that made its way into our household last fall. I found the original recipe here and improvised with toppings, measurements, and brown rice instead of white. In addition to its beautiful simplicity, one of the things I love about this recipe is that many of us will have most of the ingredients on hand. I’m not exactly a culinary maven (more of a “maven in the making”), so when I make a meal this easy and satisfying — I’m sold.

Spicy Chicken Rice Soup 
4 cups organic free range chicken broth
1 large cooked organic chicken breast
4 celery ribs, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro {I probably used more because I L-O-V-E cilantro!}
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes {go easy!}
salt and pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips

Combine soup ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until rice is cooked. Serve and enjoy with toppings of your choice. Serves 2-3. 

Oh, how I love an easy recipe. I should have an “L” posted in the kitchen to denote “Learner’s permit” just like Wills William and Kate’s Catherine’s front plate on their tony Aston Martin getaway car. And you thought I was over the Royal Wedding. Think again, loves. Think again. 😉
Do you have a favorite  fast ‘n’ easy dinner recipe to share? Blog links welcome! 

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Coconut flakes have found their way into my life/oatmeal, and they’re here to stay.

My chocolatey bowl o’ oats kept me satisfied throughout the morning, so I had a few snacks throughout the afternoon instead of my regular powerhouse smoothie. Sweet Erin at The Grass Skirt spoke so highly of the Cashew Cookie Larabar that I decided to give it a try. Yum! I prefer the chocolate chip cookie dough to this one (go figure), but how can you go wrong when this bar only has two ingredients?! Seriously, it’s made entirely of cashews and dates. That’s it. It was yummy, satisfying, and it got me through the afternoon! Well, it, and a few cocoa nibs. Since I got home late and dinner was bound to take awhile, I made a collard green hummus “pizza” with sunflower seeds and roasted red pepper hummus to tide me over till dinner. I folded my pizza over like a wrap and arrived in veggie heaven. I was inspired by Kate’s delicious-looking chickpea collard wrap at A Healthy Passion; check it out!

Besides, who needs stuffed crust when you can have a collard green pizza? 😉

For dinner I made four of these snazzy little stuffed bell peppers for me and Velvet Husband. They were so filling that we have two left over for tonight’s dinner. Score for efficiency! Red Velvet Wife: 1. Dinner: 0. I adapted this recipe from here, adding my own concoction of cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, and garlic salt. The end result was fabulous. Velvet Husband and I loved how the egg whites and turkey mixed together to create a soupy mixture. I ate mine over two leaves of red leaf lettuce in a small bowl because it got a lil’ messy. 😉

Snazzy Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 4 bell peppers {any color is fine; I prefer yellow and orange}
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Approximately 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • Several garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • Ground coriander to taste, approximately 1 tbsp
  • Cumin to taste, approximately 1 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds, approximately 1 tbsp
  • garlic salt to taste
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Hollow out bell peppers and arrange in a shallow oven-safe dish. Set aside.
  3. On stovetop in a medium saucepan, saute garlic, onion, and celery in olive oil until browned. Remove from heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, egg whites, garlic salt, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, salt and pepper.
  5. Add browned vegetable mixture to the turkey mixture. Mix well.
  6. Add diced tomatoes to the turkey and vegetable mixture. Mix well.
  7. Stuff the bell peppers with the mixture.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.


  • If you don’t want to eat dinner at 10 pm like we did, get started early because these little peppers spend 50 minutes in the oven.
  • Serve over red leaf lettuce.
  • Top with roasted red pepper hummus. Haig’s, a local San Francisco company, makes my favorite hummus.
  • Note: Measurements for seasonings are approximate because I didn’t use measuring spoons. Experiment and see what you like!

Please let me know if you have any questions!

On a completely unrelated note, have you listened to the Pandora “Tropical” station? Perfection. What are some of your favorite Pandora stations? I have a busy day ahead, and I might have some big news to share soon. Stay tuned over the next few weeks! Have a wonderful day, and thank you so much for reading!

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The weather in San Francisco is still gorgeous, and Velvet Husband and I spent a lot of time together yesterday! Such a change from how crazy the past few months have been! For breakfast, I made a bowl of strawberry shortcake oatmeal fit for Miss Strawberry Shortcake herself! I crushed about ten Newman’s Own alphabet grahams (because I’m 10) and added them to the almost-cooked oatmeal on the stove. The crushed graham crackers tasted wonderful with the natural sweetness of the strawberries and bananas. Velvet Husband was too hungry for a photo shoot, but his oatmeal add-ins included whipped bananas, brown sugar, walnuts, and strawberries. He didn’t even notice the chia seeds, so my sneakiness paid off. Nothing R-rated here, just Red Velvet splendor!

Creatures of habit that we are, we walked to our local Peet’s Coffee for a little refreshment. I enjoyed an unsweetened black tea and conversation with a sweetened Velvet Husband.

For lunch, I made a delicious strawberry banana spinach smoothie with dark chocolate whey powder, glutamine, TCHO cocoa nibs and some sinking peanut butter. Good eggs sink, bad eggs float. This was a good peanut butter egg. Ooh, that just made me think of Cadbury peanut butter eggs! What’s your favorite Easter candy? More importantly, when can you send me some? 😉

We got twenty of these festive plastic margarita cups in all different colors as a wedding gift from a friend of mine. She was so cute and spot-on to get us margarita glasses and margarita mix because we used to drink margs together after work at Baby Acapulco in Austin, also known as Baby A’s.

There’s a two margarita limit on the world famous Baby A’s purple margarita, so arrange for a designated driver if you plan on partaking. Come to think of it, my smoothie yesterday kinda resembled the infamous purple marg! Good thing I stopped at two. 😉

After my purple margarita nutritious smoothie, Velvet Husband joined me in the evening for a strength & sculpt class. Obviously, I was feeling super ambitious with my weights. Ha! Even though I got a good burn yesterday, the lame music and general lack of enthusiasm in the class made me miss Body Pump. 😦 They don’t have Body Pump at our gym, so this class will have to suffice. There was a sub for the regular much-loved teacher, and whew…she had a tough crowd! I would have preferred the normal teacher, but I sympathized with the sub because people just weren’t receptive to her style. Velvet Husband and I tried to go along with her, but there weren’t too many other happy faces in the room yesterday!

For dinner I made pan-seared salmon and oven-roasted asparagus with garlic. I topped the salmon with avocado-mango salsa with cilantro. Velvet Husband and I were both very pleased with dinner.

Hope you’re having a great day!

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After five weeks apart from each other, Velvet Husband comes home tomorrow! He’s been in Orange County for a big trial for the past five friggin’ weeks. Not the worst place to spend a month, but believe me, he wasn’t exactly chillin’ by the pool. He worked so many long and sleepless nights. I am so proud of him. San Francisco smiled with me today because Velvet Husband is coming home to us!

Chocolate peanut butter oats with bananas and blueberries are a perfect way to start the morning, don’t you agree? I used the same recipe as yesterday with the welcome addition of organic blueberries. This is the best breakfast I’ve had in a while. What is your favorite breakfast?

I needed something to tide me over till lunch, so I stopped by Tully’s on Fillmore & Jackson for an acai-berry pomegranate iced tea and a Ghiradelli dark chocolate square. The location of this Tully’s is ideal, but I find the customer service lacking. I’m always friendly with the staff, but I never get a smile in return. What’s up with that? Oh well, no matter. I’m reminded of Plato’s sage advice: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I’ll keep smiling in hopes that someday when I’m feeling down, a stranger’s kindness might lift my mood. Have I mentioned that in addition to being Secretary of Orange Jackets in college, I was also the Chair of Random Acts of Kindness? A fitting role, don’t you think?

I made a delicious chocolate-strawberry-blueberry-banana-spinach smoothie for a late lunch. Two nutrient dense smoothie glasses and two spoonfuls of peanut butter later, and I was was feelin’ good again. Cue the Robert Earl Keen.

I picked up fresh ingredients for an impromptu dinner of pan-seared halibut with avocado mango salsa. This meal was so quick and delicious! While prepping dinner, I snacked on a TCHO dark chocolate square. I’ve been known to do that from time to time. 🙂
Pan-Seared Halibut with Avocado Mango Salsa
  • 7 oz halibut fillet
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Cooking Spray
  • Salt & Pepper

Avocado Mango Salsa:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 6 garlic clothes, diced
  • 6 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 mango, peeled and chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Marinate halibut filet in olive oil or spray with olive oil cooking spray. Season halibut with salt and pepper.
  3. Place parchment paper on a cooking sheet and set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook on medium heat until browned.
  5. When sufficiently browned, remove garlic and onion from heat, and spoon them into a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. In the same pan used to cook the garlic and onion, sear the marinated halibut filet for three minutes on each side at medium heat.
  7. When searing is complete, place the halibut on parchment-lined cooking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. While halibut bakes, mix together remaining salsa ingredients in the bowl with garlic and onion.
  9. Serve halibut and salsa with fresh organic green or red leaf lettuce salad of your choice. Enjoy!
After this delicious dinner, I treated myself to a peanut butter treat. Now that I’ve watched DC Cupcakes, I think it’s time  to get serious about cleaning our apartment! Have a fantastic night, and many thanks for reading my young blog! 🙂

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