Veggie Chili & Whole 30

At the beginning of the year my best friend from home asked me to be in her wedding. I was honored, excited, & then totally horrified. I knew right away I would need to drop a few lbs before throwing on a bridesmaid dress & standing beside her. Is it terrible that all I could think about was her photos!!! Yikes!

So I started looking into a few different diets. I knew that I couldn’t just do a quick fad diet, but instead I need to change my lifestyle. The maid of honor, who is actually my oldest friend, gave me some tips that have helped her. She told me about a diet that she stays true to & has had a ton of success on. While researching the Keto diet I stumbled upon The Whole30 & started reading.

I saw that a lot of people had great long term results by using Whole 30. They started looking at labels more, eating fresher, & craving less sugar. My biggest weakness is carbs. Um hello, I’m Italian. So I love me a dinner full of pasta, red sauce, topped with cheese & amazing bread to dip in my sauce. AKA everything I cannot eat on this diet. So here goes nothing!


Yesterday started my month of no carbs, no alcohol, no sugar, no dairy & no fun. This past week I have been doing Whole 30-light. We had a lot of people over this past weekend, which in turn means we had a ton of food. So once those Mexican rice, & Mac and Cheese leftovers were gone, I stopped eating carbs. I still have a few yogurts in the refrigerator that I am finishing up otherwise, it’s been all protein & veggies for me.

I have been researching a ton of Whole 30 recipes, & trying to find some of my own recipes that I could change up to make Whole 30 approved. Chris has been great. He agreed to do it with me, but I am sure he will be sneaking some of the sugars & carbs at work for lunch.

Here is one recipe that I made a few weeks ago as a clean out the refrigerator recipe, but it turns out if you pull out the beans & lay off the cheese topping, it is a great Whole 30 meal. Instead of using chili powder in this I actually used Flavor God’s Everything Spicy seasoning. It was amazing!!! Much lighter than normal chili powders & perk… they are GMO & MSG free… aka great for Whole 30 or even the Paleo diet.

Try my Veggie Chili out & let me know what you think. Also, who else has done Whole 30? What are your favorite recipes?

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4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb carrots, chopped
1 lb celery, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 head broccoli
1 pinto beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans
14.5 oz petite cut tomatoes
2 cups water
½ tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp Flavor God Everything Spicy seasoning or chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes

1. In a pot add vegetable oil, carrots and celery and cook on high for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Allow vegetables to get tender and add chopped garlic. Allow garlic to brown.
2. Add broccoli, and all three beans to the pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add diced tomatoes, water, and seasonings.
4. Lower heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes covered.
5. Top with cheese if desired.

Simple Crock Pot French Onion Soup

Back in January, when we were in Connecticut, it was cold. Like freezing cold. Especially for us California kids, but it was even pretty cold for my cold-blooded Connecticut folks. One night my cousins, sister, mom & I drove up to northern Connecticut to visit with another cousin & her brand new baby. It was even colder up north!!!

She made us two options for soups & then my aunt showed up with a few more options. And then I needed make them all! My cousin made an amazing French onion soup, which she had all of the fixings for. Gruyere cheese & crusty bread. I died! And then went home & made it. I didn’t care that once we got back to California it was 80 degrees! I wanted the soup!

And then I made it 4 more times!

I’ve tried adding things in, & changing it up a little. But I keep coming back to that original recipe. There is literally nothing better than the smell of fresh herbs cooking throughout the house all day. I am obsessed with it. Try it out. The fragrances are amazing & it tastes even better than it smells.



3 onions, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
14.5 oz beef broth
½ Tbsp pepper
½ tsp salt
3 cups water
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 Tbsp fresh thyme

1. Slice onions and shallots in ¼ inch slices.
2. Put olive oil, onions, and shallots in sauté pan. Add desired dashes of Worcestershire sauce to onions.
3. Cook on medium low tossing onions regularly. Allow to cook down until just about translucent.
4. Add salt and pepper. Cook for two minutes and add beef broth from can.
5. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes.
6. Add cooked onions and broth to crock pot. Top with water and bouillon cubes and add in thyme.
7. Cook on low for 6 hours.
8. If desired top with crusty bread and cheese, or eat plain for a healthier option.

Simple Turkey Meatloaf

Helllooo everyone! How was everyone’s weekend?? Anytime I get two days off in a row I am beyond pumped! Especially during the month of December. That is like unheard of.

This weekend we headed up the coast to see a friend perform in a Christmas show & celebrate another friend’s birthday, which is pretty exciting for us. We don’t spend too many weekends at home, but we usually aren’t able to spend too much time with our friends so it is always so much fun when we get to hang out and catch up.

I would be lying to you, though, if I were to say that I wasn’t paranoid that our refrigerator full of veggies is going to go bad on our two nights away. Yes, I get paranoid over leaving for two nights. I am a freak! We went major grocery shopping on last Monday night and totally stocked up on veggies and meats that we were desperately lacking. I was good & froze all of the meats we haven’t cooked this week but I always feel like it is a race against time to eat all of the fresh vegetables we buy.


How do you guys make sure your veggies don’t go bad? I try to stock up on carrots and celery & other root veggies that won’t go bad as quickly but what do you do with all of those tomatoes?!!!

One of my favorite ways to quickly use all of the veggies in the fridge, besides making some sort of soup or a quiche, is pulling out a pound of turkey meat & throwing together an amazing meatloaf. What is great is you can totally use whatever you have in there. BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, and any and all veggies.

This is a very simple version of my meatloaf, with just the essentials in it. Usually I add spinach, broccoli & even peppers inside.



1 lb ground turkey meat
1 medium carrot, grated
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ cup brown onion, chopped
¼ cup ketchup
⅓ cup BBQ sauce
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
⅛ tsp dry mustard
½ cup panko

1. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Chop onions and celery, set aside. Grate carrot and set aside.
3. Empty turkey meat into large bowl. Pour carrots, celery and onion into bowl and mix with your hands. Ensure to mix fully so that vegetables are evenly dispersed.
4. Add ketchup, bbq sauce, salt, pepper, dry mustard and panko. Mix with hands again. Pour into loaf pan.
5. Bake at 375° for 50-60 minutes.


Cabbage, Spinach, Mozzarella Salad

I am still stuffed after that Thanksgiving dinner. Saturday we had our late Thanksgiving dinner & we pigged out all night! We had stuffing, mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, & much more. Today I am still sitting in a food coma thinking about the amazing turkey we had.

We even attempted to make a pie from scratch. Just a side note: evaporated milk isn’t the same as condensed milk. No matter how lazy you are & no matter how badly you don’t want to go back to the store.

Anyway… now it’s Wednesday & all I should be eating is salads. We eat a lot of salads here in this house, but usually as a side or after dinner. This week, all the rules are out the window! I am planning on having tons of salads for lunches & dinners.


I love throwing veggies together, with some great cheeses, & toppings to make new salads. The first time I put this salad together I literally opened the fridge & pull whatever was reaching it’s shelf life out. I had some left over coleslaw, mozzarella that I needed to eat or trash, & my chia seeds that live in my cheese drawer for life.

As long as the coleslaw sits overnight, enough liquid will form & no dressing will be needed. Healthy!! Here is the recipe for just one small salad, that is good enough to eat on it’s own.



2 ½ cups baby spinach
2 oz mozzarella cheese
½ cup coleslaw
1 Tbsp chia seeds

Coleslaw Ingredients:
½ small head purple cabbage
½ cup mayonayze, sliced thin
2 carrots, shredded
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp Dijon mayo

1. Mix all ingredients for cole slaw and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Place a bed of baby spinach in bowl. Top with coleslaw.
3. Cut cheese into chunks and place on top of salad.
4. Sprinkle chia seeds and serve.

My Top 6 Favorite Thanksgiving Sides


The turkey usually takes the front seat when talking about Thanksgiving here in the U.S. but truth be told, most people are in Turkey day for the sides. Me personally… I can have an entire plate full of mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, & green beans & I’d be a happy lady!

When I found out my store would be open on Thanksgiving the first thing I thought of was, “when am I going to have my stuffing?!”

Today I put together a collection of some of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes that I am excited to have on my table for the holidays.


1. Hellobee’s Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries
Every year my parents go somewhere for Thanksgiving. My mom gets an amazing amount of PTO & she always seems to have a lot left to use by the end of the year around Turkey Day. Three years ago they came out to San Francisco & drove down the coast to spend the holiday with Chris, myself, & our friends. When they pulled into the driveway of our townhouse my mom was so excited waving around the biggest stalk of fresh Brussel sprouts I have ever seen. She had made my step dad stop at all of the farm stands along PCH along the central coast & needed these Brussel sprouts. So we needed to do something with them. We found this recipe on Hellobee & it was amazing.

2. Recipe Girl’s Classic Stuffing
Everyone has a family recipe for stuffing. Some have cranberries, some have sausage, some even have pears & apples in them. Forever I thought that my mom had this amazing family recipe for her stuffing. It is delicious… apparently it’s from the back of the Pepperidge Farm stuffing package. I was crushed. And then I moved on… to this recipe. YUM. A simple, veggie stuffed stuffing with amazing Italian sausage to spice it up. Delicious.

3. My Honey Glazed Carrots

This is one of the simplest side dishes I make, with a ton of flavor. Just a few ingredients but defiantly jazzes up just boring carrots. A few years ago I became so obsessed with this dish I was making these honey carrots just about every week, with every dish I could think of pairing it with. Now, I don’t make it as often, & I am super excited to enjoy this on Thanksgiving.

4. Eat at Home’s Slow Cooker Corn Casserole
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year your kitchen will see. Everyone needs three ovens, 5 burners, 16 serving bowls & 400 utensils. Not many people actually have that though. When I saw this corn casserole that you can make in a slow cooker I fell in love. No juggling the turkey, stuffing, & veggies in the oven. No shuffling pots & pans on the stove top to make room. Just simply throwing everything in the slow cooker, sticking it in the corner & letting it do it’s job. How perfect is that?

5. Pioneer Woman’s Green Bean Casserole
Yes I know, another casserole, but is Thanksgiving, really Thanksgiving without green bean casserole? Our old roommate was all about green bean casserole, at any time of the year. We had French’s Crispy Onions in our pantry at all times. This recipe by Queen Ree Drummond is normal green bean casserole to the next level. The pimentos add a little bit of amazingness to an old favorite.

6. My Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes

Everyone loves mashed potatoes. Some people like them super silky, some like them cheesy. I personally like them a little chunky & still with a little bit of skin on them. This is one of my favorite mashed potato recipes which I stole from my mom. Best part: it is easy to make in a pinch. Since the potatoes don’t needs to be super smooth, like a whipped mashed potato, you don’t have to cook them as long & can mash them a little less then you normally would. Which is perfect when you are cooking a ton of things at once.