hello truelove

hello truelove

♥ Food + Style + Travel + City Living ♥

Recent Recipes

Even though things have been busy (or perhaps because they have been) I have really tried to whip up some healthy, convenient meals. Many have not been successes but the below are winners!


I found a broccoli salad that looked just like one we have gotten at whole foods (and then thoroughly enjoyed and then complained about the price). There’s some chopping involved but once you put the work in this salad keeps for days and is a great main or side. I used walnuts and doubled the amount because this was our main dish on Monday. I also used greek yogurt instead of mayo- delicious and super healthy:)


I think I may have posted the Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl before but I have come back to it after several months and am not disappointed. Really easy to throw together and tons of protein.


I made two batches of these Slow Cooker Black Beans and have stored most away for future use. I cannot tell you how many 15 ounce cans of black beans I bought this year and I’m excited to have these tasty morsels laid away as an option instead. I also used them to make several freezer batches of these enchiladas. I don’t think our family would have survived this month without the preserving magic of a freezer:)

Seattle Spots

A couple of weekends ago J and I went on a brunch date at a new place in Ballard: Percy’s & Co.

I had peered through the windows before and knew the interior was very pretty! 


Unfortunately, my pictures do not do it justice so you’ll have to check it out yourself. There were bright ferns hanging everywhere and good natural light flowing in through big, beautiful windows. I told J it reminded me a tiny bit of the fancy afternoon tea spot we visited in Argentina. With live music and a vintage vibe it was definitely not afternoon tea but it was a great Sunday brunch.


There were several delicious choices of bloody mary’s which I always appreciate. As you know, I usually lean toward the sweet drinks but I make an exception for an excellent bloody mary.


We both could not resist the bendict and I’m glad. The potatoes themselves were worth it. The only other place I’ve had similar breakfast potatoes is one of our favorite Tribeca spots. If you’re looking for a Sunday brunch I’d definitely recommend this place! I’m looking forward to trying out more of their cocktails, too.

Still at It: Trying New Fruits


I just wanted to pop in and say hello this weekend. We are clearly enjoying citrus in all its forms around here! The little guy had never tried pomelo but was very excited about it at the grocery store a few weeks ago:) Though we have slowed down on trying out-of-our-ordinary fruits in the wintertime I’m happy to say we are still at it!


Hope you’re having a tasty and refreshing weekend!

Personal Champagne Cocktail

I have mentioned my love of a good champagne cocktail before. Now I’ve discovered a little trick for when you’re not necessarily ready to open a whole bottle of bubbles. I love keeping some celebratory luxuries in the house just in case!


I spotted these adorable Blanc de Blanc cans at the grocery store and picked some up for future cocktail fun. They came in handy when I had some ladies over for drinks and snacks last week. And it is nice to know that I have a few ready if we need to break out the (mini) champagne anytime soon:) J doesn’t drink a ton of champagne so if he is having some scotch I’ll break open my classy pink can;)


Ah, nothing like a nice champagne cocktail by the light of the fire (er, television:) Happy Valentines Day to you lovely readers. I’m thankful to share this space with you and hope you know how loved you are! Cheers!

Monday Gratitude

This week: tasty cocktails - and the husband who makes them!

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

We all know I live with one foodie. As it turns out, the other gentleman in our home is an anti-foodie — especially when it comes to protein, fruits and veggies. I feed him oatmeal with milk and fruit in the mornings. The fact that he’ll eat a larger serving size than I for breakfast makes it his biggest meal of the day. But, wow, does it take a lot of time.


I keep coming across recipes for baked oatmeal that don’t fit my standards for a healthy breakfast (fruit, protein, and very little added sweetener). Yes, I know my son will probably eat lots of sugar in his lifetime. He is my son, after all (see cupcake photo, here). When it comes to everyday eats, however, we keep it as healthy as possible.


This recipe on Heather’s blog looked very promising so I thought I may be able to adapt it to an even healthier (though slightly less delicious) version that works as a breakfast-on-the-go option for us.
You’ll Need:
  • 4 cups uncooked oats
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree or a 15-oz can of pumpkin
  • 4 T melted butter
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves


This one is so easy and so tasty!

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Cook for about an hour or until center is firm.

Heather also notes that the original recipe calls for no spices, half of everything, applesauce instead of pumpkin, and you can also switch out the type of dried fruit and nuts- have fun!


Cauliflower “Breadsticks” - Another yummy vegetarian snack


I made these as a side to this tasty and easy curried tomato bisque. Soups are delightful (especially in winter) but sometimes a bowl of soup is not quite enough to tide me over. We often add some crusty bread or a simple slice of toast but I’m always looking to pack more veggies and protein into a meal and reduce carbs/sugar. These cauliflower munchies were the perfect healthy accompaniment to a warm soup on a cold winter night.


You’ll Need:
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, grated (grating cauliflower is not the most fun, so if you have a hand blender with a chopper attachment (like this) I would recommend putting it to use!)
  • 1 whole egg, plus one egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup 2% shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Dried basil,oregano and parsley
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
Simple Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together (except oil) in a large bowl until evenly distributed.
2.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use olive oil to grease the parchment paper (I used olive oil spray). Spread and flatten the cauliflower mixture on the parchment paper evenly - about 1/4 inch thick. Square off the edges so it looks like a rectangle or square.
3. Bake for 40-60 minutes until slightly dried out, browning, and firm to the touch- keep an eye on them toward the end as ours were a bit soggy after the first 40 minutes but I suspect in some ovens they’d be crisp by this time.
Remove from oven and using a spatula carefully peel away from parchment paper. Flip over and return to oven for 10-15 more minutes. 


This is a great side because you can prep quickly then throw it in the oven and make the rest of the meal while it is baking away!

ps- Recipe found here but I modified a bit based on my experience.

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl

Between returning from vacation and working hard on hello truelove paper goods this week has been crazy! This Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl was perfect. You can make it ahead and eat healthy all week long:) I’m a bit under the weather but it feels good to at least have a healthy meal within walking (to the fridge) distance.

{Photo from Sprouted Kitchen}

Pasta with Creamy Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Our healthy meal this week was so simple!

{Photo from Ezra Pound Cake}

I modified this recipe to include spinach instead of zucchini since we had extra. I also added about 1/4 cup hand shredded basil- forgot how good that stuff is fresh! Last year I tried to grow some in our apartment but I know we don’t have the natural light for it here so I’ll have to settle for the store bought stuff for now…

Such an easy weeknight meal!

You’ll Need:

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup non- fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (1/2 if you don’t LOVE lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups of uncooked spinach (or more!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup basil, torn into small pieces

Step One: Cook the pasta, drain and set aside. (Reserve 1 Tb pasta water for mixing in later, if you’d like)

Step Two: In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, Parmesan, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Step Three: Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic for about 15 seconds then stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and wilt. 

Step Four: Combine pasta and sauce adding pasta water if sauce seems too thick for your taste.

Zucchini Enchilada Bake

Healthy + yum— that’s what this recipe is! I made everything from scratch which was a bit too ambitious with even the happiest little baby;) I have a couple of suggestions for a quicker fix in the post:)

You’ll Need:

For the enchilada sauce:

  • olive oil spray
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 or 2 tbsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce, more if you like it spicy
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
*Quick fix #1: This sauce was delicious but if you need to buy yourself some time grab your favorite enchilada sauce from the grocery store:)

For the zucchini boats:

  • 4 (about 32 oz total) medium zucchini
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 3 tbsp water or fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping:

  • 3/4 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar
  • chopped scallions and cilantro for garnish

Enchilada Sauce: In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Zucchini Boats: Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and use a melon baller or (as in my case) whatever spoon you have on hand to scoop the middle out of the zucchini- leaving 1/4” thick.  

Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini and cilantro; season with salt and pepper and cook about 4 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, water, and tomato paste and cook a few more minutes, then add in chicken; mix and cook 3 more minutes.

*Quick fix #2: Use a can of spicy black beans instead of the shredded chicken- you’ll still get some protein, save yourself some time and make the dish vegetarian:)

Place 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large (or 2 small) baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup chicken mixture, pressing firmly.

Top each with 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce, and 1 1/2 tablespoons each of shredded cheese.  

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. 

Top with scallions and cilantro and serve with sour cream or greek yogurt if desired.

Recipe found here.

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