Category Archives: Foodie, Health Foods,

Bland Brown Rice, Wheat Pasta…Sazon Is Here! 

Hey guys!  Everyone at one time or another is on a “clean” eating journey, whatever that means to you.  I restart my healthier eating journey about ever 4 days LOL!  Yes commitment is not my strong suit.  And it’s not that I don’t like healthier options, in fact I love healthy foods, I just love the other end of the spectrum just as merch.  The struggle is real.


Taste is a big thing for me! And personally I believe brown rice and wheat pasta is a spawn of the devil.  You can’t debate me on this!  However ya sister friend has a few tips to overcome the battle of  edible tree bark a.k.a. brown rice & pasta.  

No I’m not reinventing the wheel and it may be amateur for the real chefs outchea but there’s some new soul out here who’s ready to go hard in the paint on a healthy food journey and won’t get pass the 1st bite when they’re instantly reminded of what tree bark may taste like.  Then pair it with bland piece of chicken or fish and corner taco shop here I come.  Or at the very least back on the white rice and pasta kick.

Sazon has been a saving grace.  Yes I can sea salt it down to the ground but there’s nothing like a Spanish flavored meal.  There’s multiple Sazon flavored packets, so far I’ve used con azafron and achiote and both are DELICIOUS!  I haven’t used it on my meats…yet, I tend to use a lawrys taco packets for my chicken and for my fish of choice flounder and snapper I bake it with Mrs Dash, lemon pepper and garlic powder, BUT you can easily use Sazon for your meats in fact it’s suggested.   Additional tip: You can easily use a bouillon as well but I’m bouilloned out honey!

but Sazon has given me hope on all things whole grain and wheat and I’m glad because I truly need to clean up my diet more than 3 weeks at a time.  Tired of the food reindeer games I play often!

*For 2 cups of rice I add 2 packets.  

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Foodie Reports 

Ok ok ok, I know my food presentation is not the best, HOWEVER this damn dish was! So quick and easy.  So delicious, flavorful and filling.  Yes my family and I got our lives along with a few well worth it calories in this dish. Anything that will feed these crumb snatchers in under an hour is my bff. 

Ingredients:

Box Spanish yellow rice (any brand) y’all know I usually make my own but I didn’t have saffron. I tend to hate box preserved pre seasoned foods BUT…

Hillshire Farm’s Chicken Garlic Sausage 

Sweet Onion

Colorful bell peppers 

1 skillet

25 minutes (45 total if you count dicing, searing & sauté) 

I do sear/sauté meats and veggies about 3 minutes first, then I add and followed the directions of the Spanish rice and 25 minutes later WAHLAH! 

DONE! Literally DONE.  Between the sausage and the Spanish rice all your seasoning is incorporated just right! And trust me I! Don’t! Do! Bland! 

I paired this delicious meal with my favorite veggie asparagus and if you don’t want to make separate veggies throw in broccoli florets the last 10 minutes.  I also made a fresh Caesar salad with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and my DIY Greek yogurt Caesar dressing yummmm and 1 glass of my new favorite ripple Lambrusco red wine TWIST CAP of course LMAO! Now, since it’s rice I didn’t do bread, but that’s always an option. OR you can simply eat this by itself. It’s a meal in 1. 

This fed a family of 4 no leftovers but my kids had seconds.  If feeding more than that or you want leftovers, double the recipe. HAPPY EATING.

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Lemon Water vs. Cola 

SODA

I know I knowwwwwwww!  Soda, in particular my favorites Pepsi/Coke is THE WORST, but I swear I hear angels singing soon as I get a whiff, sip or a look.  “Hi I’m CocktailsnChatter and I’m an addict🙋🏾”  now don’t get me wrong I can go several weeks, even a couple of months and not touch the stuff, but then a food (e.g. Pizza) or a really bad premenstrual cycle can/will trigger my addiction.  During those times I can actually smell it without it being in my presence.  YOU HEAR ME?!  I can smell it as if I have a glass in front of me.  

Water


The good thing is I absolutely love water in particular flavored water like lemon, cucumber, strawberry, mint etc. a combination of all or anyone alone but YUM YUM YUM!  I’ve always loved water just as much as any dark cola.  A crisp cold glass of h2o puts me in a happy place!  That’s probably the only thing that has saved me from acne/blemishes.  Oh yeah I can take down a refreshing gallon of water like its nothing.   

TRUTH

I’m going to be honest…I don’t see myself EVER GIVING UP COLA! Nope! Some people it’s cigarettes, chocolate,  recreational (medicinal) activities, adrenaline driven activities blah blah blah maybe I am trying to justify my bad habit but oh well…yes I’m aware dark sodas cleans & polishes car batteries and porcelain toilets (ewwwwwwww), but in a tall glass it releases all my endorphins and puts me in a happy place.  Yes, it’s made it harder to lose weight or reduce on bloating but I swear I just can’t walk away and to all my health critics, NO lemon water doesn’t replace the craving so please save that!  I guess the moral of this story is soda is great tasting but bad for you, but you can’t go wrong with lemon water (that was a dumb ass moral but hey that’s all I got LMAO!

My glass is empty so that means I gotta go!  I have a box wine waiting to be tapped 

My Cucumber Noodles


What do you know about a Veggetti?  Well I’ve had mine a little over a year and when I’m going hard about cleaner/healthier eating this is my best friend.  I’ve made noodles out of zucchini, cucumbers (pic above) and sweet potatoes.  I’m sure there’s way more you can do but the mentioned is enough for me right now.

With zucchini I toss in garlic and a lil evoo and steam for about 6 min, my cucumbers I toss in a balsamic & honey vinegarette or fresh squeezed lemon with pepper or tajin, my sweet potatoes I brush a lil evoo and sea salt or occasionally garlic salt or powder (basically shoestring sweet potato fries yummy👅).

I don’t know what it is about turning a veggie into a noodle that makes my day but it does and it’s also fun.  My kids are ANTI zucchini until I make them noodles then waaalahhh!

My vegetti cost around $10 and they have a bigger one for about $20 and either one is a great investment.  The cucumber is my favorite.  A quick, easy, low calorie, healthy, refreshing snack and I can make a lot at one time.  

Have you tried a veggetti?  Did you like? Would you buy one?  Let me know! Let’s get the discussion poppin.

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Weight Loss-ism 

When you’ve been eating chicken breast and veggies and drinking lemon water for 2 days and the scale ain budge…TF! 

Ladies lets toast to them unwanted 10-15lbs mine is paying rent and they’re never late damit! 


I know it looks blackened and I’m fine with that 😆 but actually it’s the chili powder & paprika that has given my chicken a crusted look.  It’s truly is delicious.

Seasoning 

Cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, s/p (optional),  sweet bell peppers, sweet white onions, I added scallions later, then add you the tortilla strips on top for a lil carb crunch. Pssssst a short cut IF you don’t mind the sodium is a fajita or taco packet…don’t tell no one…

Dressing

Apple cider vinegar, evoo, minced garlic, 1 tsp of honey, cilantro (optional), s/p (optional),  I nutri-bullet mine to smithereens for a wonderful low cal homemade dressing, on a bed of romain and waaaalaaaaaaaaah!

Or this is so good I often eat it as is and of course you can always wrap in a whole wheat tortilla fajita style.

!New parents! Baby food they’ll love! 


Hey future parents I have a great tip for you. Ever thought about making your baby’s food? No shade to Gerbers and nem but homemade is always the way to go!!!  As new parents we tend to want pure, organic, blessed by Jesus, Mary and Joeseph foods for our children LOL, then they come, and reality sets in, your tired of breastfeeding & pumping, you’re back at work and life gets in the way then guilt sets in because you’re reaching more and more for the pre-packaged stuff *sigh*. Anyone feel me?  Hands anyone 🙋🏾.  I get it.  Let CocktailsnChatter ease your mind s bit.

Well luckily I have a Martha Stewart type for a mother in law who was the first 10 years ago to bring to my attention that I WAS NOT FEEDING HER GRANDCHILD the pre-packaged stuff.  I was going to be cooking her grandchild’s food.   Yes I looked at her ten different kinds of crazy and was like “mom ain nobody got time for that and I found a couple of organic sites that cater to babies diets”.   Well based off this post you know who won that debate.

It really was easier than I thought and of course healthier.  As the time neared for me to give birth, we went grocery shopping and she bought chicken tenders, veggies, sweet potatoes, a basic blender, fruit a small bottle of formula and we went back to the house and got started.  She baked a couple of chicken breasts and sweet potatoes, boiled spinach & peas with a less than 1/2 tsp of Better Than Bouillon chicken base and baked a few apple and pineapple slices.  Guess what?  About 45 min later we had the food on the counter and she began instructing me on what to do. 

The chicken I let cool for a few min. added it to the blender with a little formula (which we only used because my breast milk wasn’t yet available) and blended to a smooth consistency.  The next breast I pulsed to a more textured consistency…she wanted me to know the different stages of food textures for the different stages of their diet.  The veggies which were bought fresh but frozen can be used was basically done the same way.  Now dessert was so tasty I was eating it straight out the oven but again you can use with or w/o breast milk or formula but blend/pulse to the appropriate consistency for your baby’s age.  

Organic meats, fruits and veggies are great but 1. Just because it says organic doesn’t mean a damn thing! Research the company 2. Don’t freak out if you don’t go that route. Buy what you can afford. The goal is to make sure you are controlling the ingredients and taking out all those preservatives!  Of course educate yourself on when babies should start on foods and watch and listen to your baby they’ll let you know if they like something or not.  Their palate will work just fine.  Mine hated berries but loved melons…she made that very clear by the face full of berries I would have when I snuck it into her food and she detected it LOL.  Oh yeah, I also bought fresh prunes and apricots would simmer them just til tender, blend and mix in with other fruits.  Please pay attention to food allergies! If you suspect anything STOP and consult a doctor immediately. 

Next we took freezer safe zip locs and all the gerber foods jars/containers I received as gifts from my baby shower dumped the food out and filled about 2 weeks worth of food in them.   No I did not go out and buy fancy tupperware or containers.  Also I’m guessing for portion control and/or space I see ice trays being used…GENIUS!   Anyhoo, I couldn’t believe it!  Yes 2 weeks worth!   Simple and easy right?  Also the peace of mind knowing exactly what my kid was going to be eating and it was made with love.  My cooking routine was usually on Sundays and when it was all said and done maybe 1hr 1/2 worth of my time…small price to pay for a healthier start in life. 

Ok will your baby fold up in a knot if you feed them the shelf stuff?  NO!  Are you a bad mom/dad if you choose to go with the pre-packaged stuff?  NO!  However giving our babies the best start is EV VA REE THANG!  My mother in law gave me a gift money couldn’t buy so I’m forever thankful and nowadays there’s fancy machines and cookbooks and websites to hold your hand through this process but listen at the end of the day, common sense and trial & error will always teach you what you need to know, so don’t be scared. 

Ok maternal hour is over… So let’s toast to parenting *clink*.  What parenting tips do you have for future parents?  Did you make your baby’s’ food? If so what recipes do you rock with?  Please LIKE-SHARE-COMMENT 

Foodsfor thought

Carrots, Beets prunes, apricots, spinach, peas, sweet potatoes, mangos, berries, pineapples, apples, chicken (I fell in love with bags of chicken tenders), turkey, fish, Lima, kidney beans and black eyed peas  (I did beans around 1 y.o.) .   While these are just suggestions, make sure foods are age appropriate, research and consult your pediatrician.