Yes, I eat cake!
I used to worry that by branding myself as “The Fit Cook,” I had put myself in a bubble of sorts, one where people expected diet food that was bland and boring. While I did start my blog as a place to share the healthy recipes I came up with during my journey to wellness, over the last three years it’s turned into so much more.
The Fit Cook is a lifestyle–it’s about food that “fits” real life. What kind of food do you want to live your life eating? Delicious, fun, flavorful food, you say? Me, too! From modern cuisine to recreating dishes that taste like the ones abuela used to make.
And I don’t know about you but as much as I love cooking, especially after a long day at the office or upon returning from a work trip, I can appreciate a recipe that comes together fast and with few ingredients that I can actually find at my local grocery store—and that’s if I don’t already have everything I need on hand. I love to cook—I don’t love constant trips to the store!
With the promise a speedy, satisfying, mouthwatering meal, knowing that it’s healthy and that you’ll feel good about eating it is what I call the icing on “The Fit Cook” cake, or pastel. With a recipe for “food that fits” in place—all that’s left to do is apply the method to real life. I have a plethora of “Fit Cook” tips up my sleeve, most or all of which you will learn more about in the coming weeks, whether through new recipes or stories related to real life experiences.
I work full-time as a travel publicist, no doubt an exciting job that keeps me on my toes and traveling the world. The best souvenirs are recipes I recreate at home, like this Lime Soup I fell in love with in Cancun, Mexico. In the next ten weeks, I’ll be making trips to New York City, Peru, Los Angeles and Guatemala.
When I’m not traveling, I’m doing my best to “be good;” that is, eating clean. That’s not to say my favorite foods are off limits—from prepping ahead to substituting ingredients, I almost always figure out ways to make them fit, never shying away from the kitchen just because I am cooking for one. Enter my Couscous con Pollo — See what I mean?
While we’re on the subject of “being good,” I do my best to fit a workout into my day—it goes a long way, especially on those days when I spend a lot of time at my desk. From Insanity, to yoga to reformer pilates or an early morning run, I’m starting to get in touch with my adventurous side, outside of the kitchen.
My big, fat Venezuelan family and group of awesome friends love to eat—lucky for them, I love to entertain, never mind that I live in a tiny studio apartment. During last year’s birthday party, I fit more than 30 friends in 500 square feet for appetizers and truffled mac and cheese, and I can’t wait to do it again in just a couple of weeks. Now to come up with a fun, new menu.
Finally, I live in Miami—the Magic City—home to a thriving culinary scene, and this home cook enjoys a night of wining and as much as the next girl. While I’m very likely to never pass on wine or dessert, my “Fit Cook” hat doesn’t always stay home as I decide where it’s worth to splurge.
Ready in: 45 minutes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 skinless bone-in chicken breast (8 oz)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chipotle sauce*
4 corn tortillas
fresh cilantro to garnish
1. Place the onion, garlic, chicken and five cups of water in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
2. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, and use two forks to pull apart the meat. Place the shredded chicken and bone back to the pot. Add the tomato sauce, chipotle sauce, salt and pepper, and cook at a simmer another 10 minutes. Remove the bone from the pot and discard.
3. Use a sharp knife to cut the tortillas into thin strips, around the width of fettuccine, then stir them into the soup. Squeeze in the juice of two limes.
4. Cut the remaining lime into thin slices. Divide the soup among two bowls. Garnish with lime slices and cilantro.*You can substitute your favorite hot sauce for the chipotle sauce, or use a diced jalapeño.
Here is a cool twist on the Latin classic, Arroz con Pollo. This dish tastes just as rich and delicious as the original, but it comes together a bit faster. It’s also a bit healthier.
Ready in: 40 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup whole grain couscous
1 packet seasoning with azafran
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup chopped cilantro
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your IMUSA CALDERO over medium high heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in your IMUSA CALDERO in an even layer, trying to keep them separate. Cook on each side for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
2. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, to your IMUSA CALDERO. Add the packet of seasoning and some more salt and pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the onion and pepper are soft. Add the couscous and 2 cups of water to your caldero, then nestle the chicken in the couscous. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until couscous is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
3. Stir in the peas, cilantro, and serve, adding a light drizzle of olive oil to finish.