Reader Requested Recipe: Salmon Croquettes

As a girl raised in the South, I enjoyed eating Salmon Croquettes growing up. My mother would make them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a family tradition, as I learned from a cousin who is interested in making them how her granny makes them. It is one of the easiest and filling meals that I've ever made. Again, I borrow recipes and tweak them to fit my taste, so feel free to do the same.

Salmon Croquettes Ingredients:
- 1 skillet
- 1 can of Double Q (remove the bones) or fresh salmon fillets
- 2 cups of Italian bread crumbs or Panko (you may need more for better hold)
- 1/4 cup of organic mayo in olive oil
- 1/2 chopped red onion
- 1/2 chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 bag fresh Spinach
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 5 tbs of lemon juice
- 5 tbs of Dijon Mustard
- 2 tbs of minced garlic
- 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Canola Oil (enough to lightly coat the bottom of skillet)
- Seasonings: Old Bay, Garlic Salt, Oregano, Parsley, Ground Pepper, Himalayan Pink Salt (season to taste)

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands or a large spoon. Grab a plate and begin making round balls, as you would making a hamburger. Place your skillet over medium heat and add your oil. Once oil is hot, create small patties out of your salmon mixture and add to the skillet. Cook all patties on both sides for 5 minutes or so until brown. I have easily made 7-8 patties out of 1 can.

For dinner, I serve my croquettes with a side of brown rice and a veggie (asparagus, Brussels, Spinach or green beans). I also make a homemade tarter sauce, but that's a secret recipe. If you'd like to learn how to make tarter sauce at home, there's a quick and simple recipe here.


Reader Recipe #3: Brown Rice Noodle Stir-fry

My dear friend Chimere is at it again! Since she has been on her Food-Mood Nutrition Plan, she has taken complete ownership over the meals that she prepares and she is having fun all while doing so! I am a visual person, so if food is aesthetically pleasing, I am all over it!

Ingredients for Stir-fry with Noodles

3-4 oz. Annie Chun's Brown Rice Maifun Noodles (you can find this at Kroger or affiliated market in the health food department near the rices and pastas)
2 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, chopped or minced
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic (or fresh) 
2 Tbsp. Organic Sesame oil (or any other cooking oil of your choice - Organic has less pops of flavor than the typical Sesame Oil)
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (a healthier alternative to Soy Sauce is Bragg Liquid Amino)
1 Tspn. Pink Himalayan Salt
1 Tbsp. Simply Asia Sweet Ginger Garlic seasoning (you can find this at Kroger or affiliated market in the international aisle) 

Fresh veggies of your choice
- Broccoli (2 cups)
- Zucchini (1 whole medium, sliced in half moons)
- One small Sweet Onion (or 1/2 of a medium/large onion, julienned)
- Assorted Sweet Peppers (4 small peppers of assorted colors, julienned)
- Baby Bella Mushrooms (5 sliced)
- Shredded Carrots (3/4 cup)

Heat organic sesame oil at medium-high temperature. Add ginger, garlic and onion and allow to sweat so their natural flavors release. After about 3 minutes, add broccoli, zucchini and sweet peppers and mix amongst ginger, garlic and onion. Add the pink Himalayan salt and Simply Asia seasoning next and continue to allow the veggies to cook.

Remove the Maifun noodles, place them in a dish, then cover them with hot tap water (not boiling; no salt). Add one tablespoon of oil so that the noodles do not stick together. Allow the noodles to soften for 4 minutes, then add them to your veggie stir-fry without dumping the water out -- you will need it as you stir-fry to keep the dish moist. The noodles should not feel gummy, rather, they should still have an al dente texture to them. Allow the noodles to mix and heat with the vegetables. Season additionally if necessary. Toss in your mushrooms and continue to blend (I normally toss the dish while it is in my stir-fry pan to make sure every piece gets some love!). Finally, add the carrots, toss those around for a short period of time so they don't lose their nutritional value. Kill the fire and cover your dish for about five minutes. Bon appetit!

Ingredients for Tilapia
1 Tilapia Filet
1 Tspn. Regular Old Bay seasoning
1 Tspn. Dried Basil

Season filet with regular Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder and dried basil. Spray skillet with olive oil cooking spray at heat to medium temperature. Cook filet on both sides (roughly 4 minutes depending on thickness of tilapia filet) and remove from heat. 

Garnish entire dish with a slice of lime and Sriracha sauce! (Be mindful of sodium!)

Food in the News: Monsanto Protection Act

My blog does not serve the purpose of bringing politics to the forefront or stating my own opinion on every news story relative to food. This, however, is one that I did not want to exclude. I like my readers to be informed, but to not spoon feed you information, though highlighting material for you to gain personal insight. If you have yet to hear of the Monsanto Protection Act, I will provide links so that you may be educated on the subject matter.
Do you feel you have a right to know if your foods are GMO? Are you concerned that the foods you may be eating are not labeled as such? If you have any thoughts after reading the links and conducting your own research, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Be Grateful.

Have you ever heard the saying, "Someone with less than what you have, is happier than you"? Sometimes in our busy schedules, we neglect to remember all of the good things that we have. March marks the 6th month of me relocating to Houston. With all of my great experiences that I have had here, I felt as though I needed more and so I decided to dedicate some time to volunteering. I chose two organizations that support causes near and dear to me...mental health and nutrition!

For me, a part of being in a "good mood" is oftentimes just reflecting on what I do have and not what I do not have. Choose to be grateful and watch your mood increase!

Healthy Snack: Hummus & Pita Chips

I get asked often what I eat when I am in the mood for "junk" (most cases, that just means "snacks"). Or someone has asked for a healthful way to get the same "crunch" they once enjoyed in salty chips and dip. I have several healthy snacks that I eat, in rotation, because I typically get bored easily if I am eating the same snack every time I am in the mood. Hummus & pita chips have been my go to snack for quite some time now. I have recently found a brand of pita chips made by H-E-B (my favorite grocery store in Texas) and a hummus brand that I can count on, Pita Pal. I will say that most people I know do not like hummus based solely on the look of it, but I always recommend tasting a food first before judging it by its appearance.

Hummus is basically mashed garbanzo beans (chickpeas) blended with tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon and salt. Different brands make different flavor hummus. It is very popular in the Middle East, but has made its mark in the US among healthy eaters, like myself. If you are not a fan of the crunchy texture, try buying regular pita bread and cutting them up into little triangles for dipping.

Give it a try and thank me later!

Meatless March: Veggie Spaghetti Recipe

For dinner tonight, I decided to create a meatless spaghetti. Italian food is one of my favorite cuisines and I happened to be craving spaghetti, so I utilized what I had in the kitchen to satisfy my appetite. I want to apologize in advance because I am an outside the box thinker and I have the most difficult time giving proper cooking measurements. I cook for my taste buds and I encourage you to do the same, especially if you know what you like. So here goes... wish me luck!

Meatless Spaghetti Sauce Recipe:
- Chop all of the following: whole mushrooms, spinach, carrots, zucchini, 1/2 red onion, 1/2 bell pepper, & parsley
- 1 can organic diced tomatoes, 1 can tomato paste & your favorite tomato sauce (if you do not make it from scratch)
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of fresh basil pesto & 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Seasonings: garlic salt, savory, celery salt, oregano, basil, & 1 bay leaf

Directions: In a pot, add olive oil and minced garlic over low heat. Add basil pesto, seasonings and all of your chopped ingredients, excluding spinach. Saute for 4 minutes. In the same pot, add your diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste & stir until all chopped vegetables are fully coated. Then add your spinach, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add additional seasonings if need be.

In a separate pot add water to cover the amount of pasta you will be using. Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of the same Italian seasonings as above. Let the water boil and add your spaghetti noodles. Boil until cooked.

That wasn't so painful! If you have any questions, please shoot me an email (


Meatless March: Navy Bean Soup!

It is March and it is National Nutrition Month!! With that being said, along with personal reasons, I decided to have a "Meatless March". Here's a photo of a protein- rich dish I made this week, using Navy Beans. If interested in the recipe, please email me at

What changes did you make, as it relates to your diet for the month of March? If you have yet to make a change, there's still 20 days left to get on board!

Health benefits of Navy Beans can be found here.

Food in the News: NYC Soda Ban

While tuning in to CNN the other day, I learned of a possible "NYC Soda Ban" that Mayor Bloomberg was attempting to pass in an attempt to slow down the high obesity stats. It appears, however, his efforts have since been overturned.

I am not and have never really been a huge fan of soda. Every once in a while I will crave a Sprite or Ginger Ale, but that is very rare.

What are your thoughts? Is this worth taking a closer look? Even though I do not drink soda's or "pop" as I've called it growing up in the Midwest, I think that people should have the freedom to choose, but also become aware of the risks associated with consumption.

Honey & Cinnamon Face Mask!

After my shower today, I was applying my raw honey & cinnamon face mask and it was almost as a lightbulb went off! Why haven't I shared what I have been doing externally to combat acne? Both honey & cinnamon are foods and whether eating or applying it to my skin, it is essentially working to make me feel good about myself.

Two years ago after traveling to the Dominican Republic, I came home with a horrible face rash. The derm suggested it was some form of sun allergy and prescribed me with a $75 medication, but not without first giving me a sample. I used the sample for a little over 10 days and never saw a difference! It was at that time that I began searching for natural remedies and stumbled across several variations of raw honey. I decided on cinnamon as its companion, solely based upon what I had immediate access to in the pantry. I mixed equal parts of each in a small tupperware container and I will tell you that within 7 days my skin was completely healed!

Honey in its purest form is naturally an anti-imflammatory agent and antiseptic that can heal infections. Your skin will feel extremely soft after use, due to its natural antioxidants. In addition, cinnamon is also an antiseptic and works to bring nutrients and blood to the skin surface, plumping back the collagen in your skin where the acne is.

If you suffer from occasional breakouts, or would like to continue to have a clear complexion, give it a try. Remember, what you put "on" your skin is just as important as what you put "in" your body.

Looking for a cheese alternative?

Seeking cheese low in cholesterol and saturated fats? I just may have the perfect alternative for you, that is if you do not mind a hint of almonds on your taste buds.

"The ORIGINAL Almond" by Lisanatti Foods is my answer! For every 1 ounce serving, you'll enjoy only 50 calories (which reminds me, I haven't covered nutrition label facts - stay tuned), and 1 gram of monounsaturated fat. You may also be happy to know that it is low in cholesterol, gluten free and not genetically modified (non-GMO). You'll also find that it is free of lactose and soy, which is a major plus for me!

The next time you're at the grocery store, be sure to search for it. I've found that Trader Joe's and WholeFoods are your best bet for finding this healthier alternative. And of course, search the aisle of the indoor farmer's market!

Take a look at Lisanatti Foods' website to see all of the different flavors, including my favorite: Garlic-herb style chunks.

And remember, Food-Mood says, "Just say NO to too much of that other cheese!" :-)

Nettle Leaf

If you recall some posts back, I was suffering from a chocolate induced acne breakout and I internally cleansed by using dandelion root tea. Well, this month, my acne has reared its ugly head (no pun intended) once again. This time, however, it is not entirely my fault - I was actually sunbathing in Jamaica and drinking more sugary drinks than water. When in Rome, eh?

The dandelion root worked wonders for my skin, but I really wanted to experiment with Nettle Leaf, as I had purchased both at the same time last month. Remember, the dandelion root works to cleanse the liver. Nettle Leaf, on the other hand, works to remove toxins from your kidneys & bloodstream. If drinking it on a regular basis, it operates more as "prevention" rather than a "cure". My hope is to cleanse the toxins within and witness the results.

The use of nettle leaf may benefit your:
- Prostate health
- Digestive health
- Allergies
- Act as an anti-inflammatory agent

Traditional Medicinals is the brand of tea that I am using. If you cannot find it at your local grocery store, click here. As always, I am a full supporter of Vitacost.

This product, like many other natural herbs that I post, is not approved by the FDA. Use your personal discretion when seeking holistic methods. 

My 2 pennies on coconut oils...

If you enjoy the taste of coconuts and prefer your oils to be pressed from fresh, raw ingredients, then my rule of thumb is Unrefined when selecting coconut oils. You'll want to look for "virgin" or "extra-virgin".

On the other hand, if you prefer to not taste the coconut and you do not mind that the coconuts themselves have gone through a chemical process, then Refined may be for you.

There are options and there is no right or wrong - it truly is a personal preference. Obviously, the latter does not have the same health benefits, if any.

Put a little spice in your life!

Want to boost your immune system, clear up congestion, lose weight, or protect yourself from prostate cancer? Well, try adding red chili peppers to your recipes! Most people aren't into many spices, but don't knock it until you've tried it!

The power of MACA!

I hate the term "superfood", but maca has been dubbed this for many many years! Any raw food advocate will tell you that maca is a staple in their life. The maca powder can be added to smoothies to:

- Balance MOOD!
- Improve memory & brain functioning
- Reduce symptoms of PMS
- Improve sleep
- Increase libido
- Regulate hormone production
- Assist w/ muscle growth
- Improve endurance & stamina
- Anti- Aging / Acne

If any of the above health benefits piqued an interest, I encourage you to try it! Navitas Naturals produces a pretty good quality Raw Maca Powder. You can purchase & learn more about this amazing root here! Be careful not to overdo it with this Peruvian "superfood", there are some concerns regarding adverse reactions in some people - not everyone. I would recommend 1-2 tbsp in your smoothie at least 3x per week.

Health Benefits of ACV...

Apple Cider Vinegar, that is. While searching for natural remedies for arthritis pain for my father, I was quickly reminded of the power within ACV. In the past, a brand that I have used is Bragg, which you can find more information here.

Let's take a look at some additional health benefits:
  • Dissolves kidney stones
  • Regulates pH balance in the body
  • Prevents flu & stomach illness
  • Lowers blood pressure & cholesterol
  • Helps relieve sinus pressure & infection
  • Reduces inflammation, relieves arthritis pain
  • Helps weight loss by curbing appetite & breaking down fats
  • Helps relive asthma symptoms

A shot a day, may keep the doctor away! It is very potent, so if you are like me, you may not be able to take a full shot. Here's how you can incorporate the use of ACV in your daily nutrition regimen:

- 2 tbsp of ACV in 1/2 cup of 100% pure juice (orange, pineapple, etc), 2x per day
- 2 tbsp of ACV in 16 oz of water, 1 tbsp of raw honey & 1 squirt of lemon or orange juice, 1x per day

Not all ACV products are one in the same. If you are picking up a bottle and it is not Bragg's, be sure to look for "with the Mother". This just means, that it is the "mother" of vinegars, is not pasteurized and is organic.


Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Brussels Sprouts?! Well, I was asked recently how to prepare these baby cabbages, so I thought I'd share my recipe with you! It's really quick and simple, all you need is a total of 8 minutes.

What you'll need:
- Fresh or frozen Brussels
- a pan/skillet
- 1/2 inch water
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- Minced garlic (I cook with a lot of garlic & normally add about 2 tablespoons)
- Seasonings (dash of garlic salt & black pepper)

Recipe: Add all of the above ingredients in your pan and cover for roughly 5 minutes. I typically cook them until all of the water has absorbed. Be sure that they are still a vibrant green color, so to not cook too long!

Click here for the health benefits.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!