Sunday, July 19, 2015

Life Update!

Hey Happy Tummies!

It has been waaay too long!

Just wanted to give a quick little life update.

No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet, contrary to popular belief! :D

I've been super busy filming and working and enjoying the summer!

I feel a little silly posting acting updates, but you guys are like family and we've been on this journey back to health together, and you all have been so supportive as I'm out here going after it, so I wanted to share my latest work with you guys: I played the love interest in Derek Crider's new country hit, "Girl Walks a Country Mile." I know I'm biased, but I absolutely LOVE the song!

You can watch it below, and catch a glimpse of Yours Truly in action :)

The song follows a couple that is falling in love during the summer time.

Here's another behind the scenes shot!

Derek was such a cool guy. If you live in Philly, you should try to catch one of his live shows!

Next, I just finished shooting the pilot episode of Heroes of the Street, where's I'll be playing Autry Colbert!

We shot in Philly and it was so incredibly fun! It was a jam packed week with filming at several locations, and dodging a major thunderstorm that produced a tornado! It was crazy!

I loved all my co-stars, and by the end of the week we were a little H.O.T.S. family:)

I'll keep you all updated on it as the project moves forward, but for now, here's a link to our FaceBook page.

And finally, the summer would not be complete without our annual trip to the lake home in Wisconsin over the Fourth of July! Good laughs were had, beers were consumed (vodka for me), family time on the water was enjoyed -- just what I needed.

And the very last thing is that I just booked another film! It's a short horror film, but it films at the end of July. Looks like this is officially the #BestSummerEver. 

I hope you all have been enjoying the summer so far! I can't begin to express how much I've missed blogging, and how much I've missed interacting with all of YOU! I have every intent on getting better at posting. I have a delicious recipe that I'm going to post this week -- probably Wednesday night. So check back for that:)

Love and hugs to all my Happy Tummies!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Potato Nirvana! GF, V & Paleo


The Great.


Youuuuu Guyssssssss. This is by far one of the most insanely delicious things ever. Literally, ever.

Have you ever had one of those days where you'd just rather skip dinner and just go straight to dessert? Or rather, have dessert for dinner?

Like everyday? Okay yeah, me too :)

Well, this recipe is the best of both worlds. You get dinner and dessert in one! How? Because it's so friggin tasty, and deceptively healthy!

I'd call that a #win!

Now, potatoes are a little tricky. They're not on the Specific Carb Diet. Period. Sweet Potatoes are on the Paleo diet, and Red potatoes are on the Body Ecology Diet. So, do with this what you will.

Before I dive in, I promised yesterday to give you a quick update on our trip to Florida.

It was amazing -- we stayed right on the water and we spent the week on the beach,

taking walks,

watching the sunset,

and enjoying delicious Tiki Bar drinks:)

Ok...back to the spuds.

For this recipe I used a Japanese Sweet Potato. There are all different types of tubers -- sweet potatoes, yams, japanese sweet potatoes, etc. But I choose the Japanese variety because I like the texture of it. The flesh is actually white, not orange, like we're used to at Thanksgiving. But the texture is almost gummy, and creates this beautifully thick, paste-like consistency that I found really enjoyable. ((It doesn't sound that appetizing from that description, but believe me, it was splendid...Think cookie dough))

Also - to "up" the nutrition factor, and intensify the color, I added steamed carrots to the flesh. Aren't I tricky ;)

Here's what you need. (Serves one -- although, I guesssss you could split it)

1 massive Japanese sweet potato, baked
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped and steamed
pinch of salt

3 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

pecans, roasted and chopped

Optional: (to be blended in)
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 375. Prick your sweet potato all over with a fork. Rub the skin with a little bit of oil - I used grapeseed. Bake for about 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes with an oven mitt. (I placed a cookie sheet underneath the potato to catch any sugary drippings that might ooze out of the spud.)

While the potato is baking, I made my almond butter drizzle. In my food processor, I mixed the peanut butter, honey and cinnamon until it was nice and smooth and drizzly. If the consistency is too thick, you can add either a splash of water, or a little bit of oil. I used a touch of almond oil, but another flavorless oil would be fine too.

Transfer your sauce to another bowl, and try to refrain from eating all of it. ((I made 4x the amount listed in the recipe to keep on hand for yogurts, cereal, smoothie additions, fruit dip, etc.))

*You don't have to clean your food processor just yet. Any remaining sauce left of the sides/blade will just mix nicely in with the flesh.

Also while your potato is baking, steam your carrots either on the stove or in the microwave. I just used the microwave and a Pyrex measuring cup.

Lastly, toast some pecans in a skillet over low heat until fragrant. This doesn't take very long - about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. But watch them, because they can burn quickly!

Once the potato is finished baking, cut a slit in it lengthwise, but not all the way through. Then, carefully (with oven mitts because it's hot) push the two ends together.

Then, spoon out the flesh of the potato and place into your food processor along with the carrots and a pinch of salt. Don't scrape all of the flesh out of the potato -- you still need the potato to be sturdy and able to stand on its own.

While the flesh of the potato and the carrots are still hot, process them until combined and smooth. (The steam given off helps facilitate this.) I also added about a Tbsp of almond butter, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 pinch of salt and 1/8 tsp cinnamon to the food processor to be mixed in. That is optional -- but highly encouraged :)

To assemble, generously spoon the potato/carrot mixture back into the skin and pile it high! Then, liberally smother that baby with your almond/peanut butter and honey mixture. Garnish with pecans if desired.


Was this bigger than my face? Yes. Did it weigh roughly the same as a large cat? Yes. Was it one of the most delicious things in the entire world? Abso-friggin-lutely!

Ladies and gentlemen, this potato. This potato. This potato. THIS POTATO! I kid you was nirvana. And I got that word, because Webster told me that it meant utter bliss. Ecstasy. Pure joy. Yep - that about sums it up.

It was like eating pumpkin pie flavored cookie dough. It was sweet and nutty and had a kiss of cinnamon.

And the texture was marvelous. Like I mentioned, Japanese Sweet Potatoes have a tacky and thick texture that makes it so you almost have to chew it. It was so good.

But the drizzle. OH THE DRIZZLE! In the words of Uncle Jesse,

Seriously, should be illegal. It is so rich and nutty and sweet, and combined with the sweet potato and carrot mash, it is just out of this world. 

Lastly, the color is just outrageous. That orange color is not enhanced, nor from a can, my friends. No filter here! It's all from some good old beta carotene found in Bugs Bunny's favorite veggie. Not only do carrots intensify the color, but they also up the nutrition factor too!

This was a ten. Nay -- an eleven. If you feel like giving yourself a hug through your stomach, make this dish.

It's "Din-sert." "Desse-ner." It's healthy dessert for dinner. It's Potato Nirvana.

PS: You can thank me later ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"Mangocado" Ribbon Salad! GF, V, SCD & Paleo!

Hey Happy Tummies!!

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I promise!

Things have just been suuuuuper busy around here! I’m actually writing a book!! :D

I won’t get into too much detail, but I’ve just been devoting all my spare time to working on that…soooo that’s why I’ve been a bit absent.

So let’s just dive right back in, shall we!?

I’ve been to Sundance, Florida, and Cincinnati since I’ve last seen you lovelies. Sooo, I think I’ll just do a quick recap.

So Sundance. I go every year with my family to do some skiing, spa-ing, and of course, taking in some great films!

I had a fantastic time. It was especially fun this year because my little niece was with us! She brings so much joy and life to our family. What. A. Cutie.

I thought I’d share some highlights.

Let’s start with the Spa:)

We went to the Spa at the Stein Eriksen Lodge. It was just phenomenal. If you’ve never treated yourself to a trip to the spa, consider this your personal invitation!

It was so beautiful. The “relaxation room” had a roaring stone and wood fireplace with sweeping views of the mountain. Rustically fabulous. And there were all different kinds of hot teas and little nibbles to enjoy while you wait for your massage.

What. A. Treat.

Afterwards, my sister-in-laws and my mom and I went to the Stein’s restaurant and had cocktails and fondue. :D

Next: the Skiing.

What can I say, Deer Valley really is the best place to ski. They’re one of the only ski resorts that don’t allow snow boarders! It’s a very relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. We skied for 5 days. Incredible.

Now for the best part: the DINING!

My goodness, where to begin? Probably my favorite place we ate was at the Seafood Buffet. 

First, let me preface this by saying that my family consists of “big eaters:” I’ve got 2 older brothers and a dad, who are all over 6 feet, athletic, and fit as a whistle. Park City’s restaurants, although fabulous and 5 star, leave them still hungry. And there’s nothing more frustrating to the menfolk than paying out the nose for an itty bitty amount of food, and then leaving hungry. Plus, my diet is rather particular, so I end up getting basically a boring salad with oil and vinegar. No thanks. SOOO, my family has discovered the Seafood Buffet. 

It is amazing. Now, you’re probably thinking about a Golden Corral….nope! This is a gourmet buffet. It’s at midmountain, and every evening the ski resort transforms the lodge into a 5 star restaurant brimming with fresh seafood, sushi, salads, and desserts. Yes, your eyes are not tricking you, that is a buffet of fresh king crab legs! WOW!

I mean, that is a VAT of CLARIFIED BUTTER, people. 

But what my family loves best about this place is that it is nearly ALL gluten free! There were only one or two sauces that weren’t gluten free. So we were in Heaven.

My favorite dishes were the gorgeous salad with pecans and cranberries, the seared-to-order ahi tuna, and of course, the king crab legs. It was the dinner that dreams are made of :) hehe

We also saw some great films and did some shopping...for crazy sunglasses :)

Alright, that’s enough about Sundance. Onto today's recipe!

Guys, hang onto your hats, because this is a winner!

Allow me to present my latest obsession. Literally, you guys, I eat this all. the. time.

Introducing my “Mangocado” Ribbon Salad!

(See what I did there??) Mango + Avocado = Mangocado  Hey hey hey!

OK, I’m a nerd, moving on.

But seriously this was so delicious and healthy. Ribbons of carrots and crunchy veggies, smothered in a sweet and creamy dressing. A perfect ten.

Here’s what you need: (Serves 2)

3 carrots, spiralized. (I used multicolored carrots – orange, yellow, and purple)
1 zucchini, spiralized
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1 cucumber, spiralized

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

Creamy Dressing:
1 Avocado
1 Mango
Juice of ½ a lime
2 tsp fresh grated ginger

This recipe couldn’t be easier. Cut your veggies into ribbons, using either a spiralizer, mandolin, potato peeler, or sharp knife. I used a spiralizer. Put them in a large bowl.

Place your dressing ingredients into the food processor. Process until smooth. It will be thick.

Toss your ribbons with the dressing. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and pistachios.


My goodness, you guys. This. Dish. Rocks. You see, I’m kinda a stickler for salad dressings. I guess you could say, I’m a snob. Because, I don’t like when they add artificial this and presevative-laden that to it. I just like real ingredients – things I’m able to pronounce. Well, let me tell you, this dressing couldn’t get any more wholesome if you tried!

It is so incredible. Rich. Thick. Creamy. Buttery. Sweet. Gingery. I could go on and on. I seriously could probably drink it, to be honest! But this dressing, smothered over the cold, crunchy veggies was just aweeesomeee! And then the salty crunch of the pistachios and the bright, fresh kick of cilantro at the end really put it over the top.

And the colors! My, oh my. It was like spring had sprung on my plate. The orange and purple and green and yellow. It was just so pretty. I knew, just from looking at it, that my taste buds were in for a treat.

Make this dish. You will become a believer of the dream team: Mango and Avocado. Or as I like to refer to them: Combo Dombo – Combination Domination.

See ya tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FettuZINI Non-Fredo! GF, Vegan, SCD & Paleo!


Ok guys. I have a serious secret to share with you....I mean, serious.

That is the extraordinary awesomeness that is SOAKED CASHEWS.

OK, pause. Before you scratch your head in confusion, let me explain.

I love cashews. I really do. But I always just buy them raw, grind them up in my food processor and fuggeduhboutit. I mean, I had always seen the recipes that call for "soaked cashews," but I never had the time or patience to plan ahead, and much of a difference could it really make? I mean, come on?

The answer? A LOT.

Yesterday, I knew I was going to have some time on my hands today. I have a shoot on Friday and am going to Sundance this weekend, so I knew I was going to create a little somethin'somethin' for my fave Happy Tummies today. :) So I thought, lemme just give it a try.

You. Guys. What happened to these raw cashews was nothing short of amazing. I took a picture to show you.

I soaked them in water for 24 hours. The right cashew is what they started out as. And here they are on the left, TRIPLED IN SIZE!

I couldn't believe it. They absorbed the water and became creamy and soft - seriously like the consistency of cream cheese or butter.

I've seen the light. I'm converted. :P

Anywho, given this revelation of the soaked cashew glory, I decided that it was time to tackle one of my former all-time favorite foods: Fettuccine Alfredo. Only this version would be SCD Friendly and VEGAN.

To all you who are shakin your head, or "SMH" as the youths today so eloquently put it, just hear me out. This dish was incredible.

You saw in my last post the power of Cauliflower in its ability to become irresistible sandwich bread. Well, friends, cauliflower is at it again! This time, it's transforming into a creamy and rich ALFREDO SAUCE!!

Yep! This alfredo sauce is Gluten and Grain Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, Body Ecology Diet friendly, and Paleo!

So must taste like sawdust or cardboard, right?! ----- WRONG!!! It was superb!!!

Don't believe me? -- I dare you to give it a try :D

Here's what you need: (Serves 2)

1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight or for 24 hours
1 cup cauliflower roasted
1 cup cauliflower steamed
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper

optional:unsweetened regular almond milk - room temperature
optional: 1 grate/pinch of fresh nutmeg

1 zucchini, made into noodles
basil, chopped -garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a tin foil-lined, olive oil-sprayed baking sheet, bake half (1 cup) of your cauliflower florets for 25 minutes, stirring once half-way through.

Meanwhile, steam the other cup of the cauliflower in a steamer basket, or in the microwave until very tender.

Also, saute your onions and garlic in 1-2 Tbsp EVOO, salt and pepper over medium heat until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize. This will take about 8-10 minutes.

Put your soaked and drained cashews in the food processor and process them until they form a smooth paste. Add your roasted and steamed cauliflower, onions and garlic to the food processor, and process until smooth. It will be thick and creamy. You may need to scrape the sides. I find it best to do this when it is still hot, as the steam helps the sauce "come together." You may add 1-3 Tbsp almond milk if it is too thick. I did not. You may also add a grate of fresh nutmeg if desired.

Finally, with either a spiralizer, mandolin, or sharp knife, make your zucchini into noodles. You may also use any noodle of choice.

To plate, either top your noodles with the sauce and garnish with chopped fresh basil, or toss your noodles with the sauce, and plate.

My goodness, you guys. What a TREAT! Back in my gluten-consuming days, Fettuccine Alfredo was my favorite "special occasion" dinner. And this brought me right back to that "happy place!"

The sauce was so creamy and rich from the cashews. And the combination of the nuttiness from the roasted cauliflower with the onions and garlic made for just a remarkable flavor.

It's hard to believe that this dish is healthy because it tasted so darn decadent!

So, it may not be the belle of the ball as far as appearances go, but what it lacks in color, it definitely makes up for in flavor.

I will DEFINITELY be making this again!

What's your "happy place" food?