Easy Posole

Is it warm and sunny where you are today?  We have finally been gifted with beautiful spring weather and it makes me so happy.  I’ve got the sudden urge to spring clean the house from top to bottom.  It happens every year about this time.  The trouble is finding time in the day because I just recently started a new consulting gig from home on top of my course load for my Nutrition Consultant degree.  And golf.  It’s practically the only thing I think about in the warm months.  What is your obsession/hobby/thing that brings you joy?  I’d love to hear about it!

This week I made another Gwyneth recipe from her book It’s All Good. Ever since returning home from Arizona I’ve been craving all the flavors I grew up with.  Jalapeños, chiles, hominy, avocado.  Spicy and fresh.  Gwyneth wrote that her chef made this soup for her on a cool summer day when she wanted something warm but still light.  BTW, if you are wondering what hominy is, read this very informative article entitled “What The Hell Is Hominy, Anyway?”.

So this week I picked up the phone to call my personal chef and then realized, whoops! I don’t have one.  Darn.

I used my own two hands to make this soup and was delighted with the flavors.  It is indeed light and fresh, but still comforting.  It’s full of antioxidants because of all the veggies and herbs. Hominy is high in fiber, low in fat, and is a whole grain. And as made, this soup is vegan.

Some changes I would make: 1)At least double the recipe.  It barely made enough for four regular people. 2)Add at least one additional can of hominy to the soup.  It came out lacking a little bit of heft.  My husband pointed out more hominy would make this soup even better. I should also mention that when I told my husband I was making hominy he thought it was a kind of fish.  Bless his Indiana-bred heart.  3) If you have spice-averse children, omit 1/2 the jalapeños and let people add them at the end. 

Otherwise, I would say this soup is fantastic and just the perfect thing for a day when you feel like eating something that is simultaneously warm and light.  If you want to add some shredded chicken or pork I bet that would taste good too.


6 tomatillos: peel the papery layers off, rinse, and chop them (throw away the papery outside)

1 large red onion, roughly chopped

2 jalapeños, chopped (remove the seeds for less spice)

olive oil

sea salt

4 cups vegetable stock (I love Better Than Bouillon which I find at the grocery and even Costco)

A few sprigs of cilantro

28 oz can of hominy, drained and rinsed (I personally would double this amount)


Ripe avocado, diced


Chopped scallions

Sliced radishes

Lime wedges

Anything else that tickles your taste bud fancy


Preheat oven to 450 F. On a large sheet pan, toss the tomatillos, onions and jalapeños with enough oil to coat.  Add a large pinch of salt. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and a little browned.

Transfer the veggies and about 1 cup of the stock into a blender to puree until completely smooth.  If using an immersion blender like I did, you’ll need more than 1 cup of liquid so it doesn’t splatter.

Add the vegetable mixture along with the hominy, rest of the stock and cilantro to a large pot.  Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for at least 15 minutes. Season to taste.

Remove the cilantro stems and discard.  Add garnish and enjoy!




Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

It’s been a while since I posted a Gwyneth recipe here.  Her flawless face on the over of her cookbook (It’s All Good) has been staring at me with reproach for weeks now.  Months even.  If I were anything like Gwyneth I would have not let this much time pass and furthermore, in that amount of time, I would have also made my own line of beauty products and have experimented getting stung by bees as a beauty treatment.

So this weekend I cracked open the cookbook and picked a recipe for which I had all the ingredients already.  I love when that happens!  I needed to eat a healthy and filling lunch before playing golf so I went with the quinoa with roasted butternut squash.  It seemed like the perfect easy and healthy option.

By now you probably know how I feel about Gwyneth (we’re frenemies, FYI).  The truth is, her recipes have never steered me wrong.  I haven’t found one that wasn’t delicious yet.  The Braised Chicken With Green Olives is most definitely my favorite.  Just last night my friend  and fellow food blogger ProntoPup reminded me how good that dish is.  It’s kind of fussy to make, but you are handsomely rewarded at the end.

This quinoa recipe isn’t fussy, and I would rate it a solid 7 or 8.  It’s not fancy, it does the trick.  It makes a fabulous lunch or dinner side dish.  And it’s super healthy.  And for a Monday isn’t that enough?




1 package frozen butternut squash

olive oil

sea salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cups cooked quinoa (use directions on the package)

3 scallions, chopped (I like to use the whole scallion, not just the whites and light green parts)

1/4 cup chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place butternut squash in a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt and stir to coat.  Roast until browned (about 20 minutes).

While roasting the squash, whisk together the lemon juice with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. When the quinoa is finished, incorporate that in with the dressing, scallions and parsley.  When the squash is finished roasting, place it on top the quinoa mixture.  Add some extra scallions and parsley to the top to garnish.


ENJOY!  Please let me know what you think by commenting! And I wouldn’t hate it if you shared my blog with all your friends and loved ones.



Cocktails! Prickly Pear Margaritas

We just returned from our spring break vacation in Arizona.  I grew up there and I relished the idea of showing my 11 year old all the things I loved about such a beautiful state. Like this sunset:


And this mountain vista: 

And this blooming cactus:

And this sunrise:

And the Grand Canyon:

Are you kidding me?  Where else do you see things like this?  We had the best time traveling from the valley to the Grand Canyon and back again.  We were there eight days and could have been there for weeks and weeks.  But we hit some of the best parts and most important of all, my daughter came back appreciating the same things I do about Arizona.  Like the food (oh my gosh the Mexican food).  And the stunning desert landscapes.  And the way the pine trees up north smell like vanilla.

One thing I brought back from Arizona that my daughter didn’t was a love for Prickly Pear Margaritas (yes it’s in caps. They are that good).  I mean, she’s 11.  Funny story: our first night in Arizona my husband ordered a prickly pear margarita. It came out hot pink.  He was secure enough in his masculinity to enjoy every sip.  Anyway, I procured a bottle of prickly pear syrup so that I could recreate these sensational margaritas (and any other cocktail I deem fit) anytime I wanted.

I think it’s my duty to inform you that in Mexico prickly pear is used widely as an anti-hangover remedy.  It’s also high in vitamin C and is full of anti-inflammatory compounds. A very tiny study seems to show that it might also help lower your LDL (the bad) cholesterol levels. Do with that what you will (I write a wellness blog after all, I think you should know these things).  As always, don’t take my word for it.  Talk to your doctor about this stuff.

Anyway, I think this will be the drink of the summer.



3 ounces tequila of your choice
1/2 ounce Cointreau
2 ounces lime juice (Or more to taste. I squeezed another wedge of lime in my glass)
2 ounces prickly pear syrup (I like Cheri’s Harvest because it’s all natural and doesn’t use preservatives or artificial colors or flavors)
Margarita salt for garnishing the glass


Combine the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and prickly pear syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Use a wedge of lime to wet the rim of a margarita glass and dip into the margarita salt that you’ve poured onto a plate. Pour margarita into glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Keep an eye out for more prickly pear syrup recipes, because YUM!