Balsamic Basil Summer Pasta Salad

Still need a quick recipe to bring to your 4th of July gathering on Friday? Consider making the pasta salad that I bring to almost all potluck parties!

A Filipino Foodie

balsamic basil summer pasta salad

Today I’m going to share a recipe of one of my most favorite pasta salads. I originally got this recipe from a close family friend after she brought it to my parents’ house for a family get together.  If I’m ever tasked with bringing something to a potluck, especially on short notice, this is my go-to item. Any of my friends, family, or co-workers that have been to a potluck function with me have likely tasted this at some point in time. Some of the things I love most about this salad is how well the basil enhances the taste of the pasta along with the sweet and salty tones of grape tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives. Overall however, I really like how this dish is so quick and easy to make!  P.S. this would be totally great dish to bring to an upcoming 4th of July get together ;)…

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4th of July Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

With 4th of July just around the corner, here’s a throwback to my recommendations last year for healthy holiday eating tips!

A Filipino Foodie

4th of july eating tips

Hi friends! Today I wanted to share a few quick tips to help you keep up healthy habits during the 4th of July holiday. Cookouts are infamous for copious amounts of red meat, alcohol, and high calorie side items; luckily though, cookouts also provide great opportunity for enjoying fresh veggies and fruit, especially on a hot day!

  • Do NOT show up to the get together famished.  Though “saving up your calories for the big meal” sounds like a great idea, it can do more harm than good by setting you up to eat overly large portions.If your cookout or gathering is at lunch, make sure to have breakfast beforehand….if it’s in the evening, have a light breakfast and lunch- you get the idea 🙂 Having a snack 30 minutes to an hour before eating can help avoid eating “with your eyes” and let you take your time to enjoy the…

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My {Not So} Green Smoothie



Happy Thursday, friends! I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit on the sore side. Last night me and a girlfriend tried Pure Barre for the first time. I hear my patients talk about it all the time and many of my friends and colleagues swear by it, including Chelsea from It’s a Wonderful Lifestyle. Other than it hurting to laugh, sit, lift, walk, and talk, I survived. I decided to sign up for their Breaking Down the Barre class later this week to get a better understanding about form and technique. With a monthly unlimited membership feeling like a car payment, I have yet to make a decision on continuing this fitness option. If you also swear by it, please let me know 🙂


Skinny Girl Cosmo I had right after class…Please note I do not recommend this as a post-workout recovery beverage.

Ironically, my Nutribullet Pro had arrived by the time I got home from Pure Barre last night. I would not consider myself to be a smoothie aficionado but after watching a little too many infomercials lately, I thought I’d “bite the bullet” (pun intended) and get one. Since I’m not hardcore in the smoothie arena, I thought I’d wait before considering a Vitamix or Blendec blender. Speaking Blendec, have you ever seen their videos, Will It Blend? If something can blend an Iphone, well then surely it can blend anything else in my house including produce. 



I was planning on making a smoothie for both me and my husband this morning but since he’s fairly adamant about his fiber cereal routine in the morning, I had the big cup all to myself. My mix had about 1 1/2-2 cups of spinach, one frozen banana, a half cup of frozen blueberries, two tablespoons ground flaxseed,two tablespoons chia seeds, and water.



So….not exactly the beautiful green smoothies you’d find other people making. However, it did taste pretty good!


As the day has progressed it has started to turn more green. Again, not a gorgeous pretty lime green, but I’ll attribute the army green color to the blueberries and black chia seeds involved. And honestly, I think I needed to blend it a little bit longer now that I think about it in hindsight. I will try again and keep you lovely folks posted!!


I really am hoping to make a habit of using my Nutribullet often.  I don’t consider this to be a replacement for my fruit and veggie intake throughout the day; so many of the recipes I share with you all feature veggies as the superstar 🙂 For now, I’ll be looking to my friend Cindy at Newlywed Nutrition for all of her fabulous smoothie recipes— this girl is an expert in the smoothie arena!  If you’re feeling like joining the green smoothie bandwagon, July 1st is your chance!

Alas, now, it’s time for my lunch and as much as I’d love another smoothie, I’m pretty pumped about my Greek chicken salad from Zoe’s Kitchen. Yum! Bottoms up and Bon Appetit!


My First Cake Decorating Class {Mary’s Cakes and Pastries}


Happy Hump Day Friends! Last night I got to experience my very first cake decorating class. I’ve always wanted to take one but could never find the right time. When my favorite local bakery announced having some classes this summer, I thought I’d sign up for the cake decorating class. You may remember me mentioning Mary’s Cakes and Pastries when I wrote an article in Druid City Living about Mary and her amazing passion for incorporating local produce in her goods.


Mary brought her personal mixer from home to show us how to make delicious butter cream. I never knew the importance of high ratio shortening. And of course we have to recognize the fact that delicious unsalted butter is a must! I also did not realize the importance of sifting your powdered sugar…if you have clumps, you could pay for it later while trying to decorate your cake with an icing tip.


Our work stations!



A blurry picture of my friend Babs slicing through her cake with a turn table and serrated knife.


Gotta start icing that cake down!


Getting that crumb coat ready!


Mary’s mascot, Molly, her sweet 11 week old puppy! She was staying in the bakery consignment area of the shop.


I had a bad glare on the Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes sign but it was the inspiration for my cake decor later that evening.


Doing a little border practicing on a laminated sheet of paper.


Of course I had to do something related to my hubby! 🙂


Me and Babs striking a pose with our icing bags!


Mary was showing us how it’s done.


Oddly enough, this was NOT enough icing for the cake.


Seriously, I had to add more to it.


Let’s fast forward to finished product. TA-DA!


I feel so proud 🙂


And again!


Mary did have to help me a bit with the smoothing. I know practice makes perfect. I think this will finally put my Kitchenaid mixer to good use. The bottom line is that this class was worth every penny. We all got to take our cakes home and I made plenty of notes on the recipe sheet that Mary gave us for our Butter Cream icing. If you are in the Tuscaloosa area, I would completely recommend taking a class from Mary’s Bakery. Other classes she is offering this summer include a fondant class, a petit fours class, and others. Find her on Facebook, her website, her blog, or Instagram!

Nutrition and Oral Health


Last week I went in for a long overdue teeth cleaning. As a dietitian, I’m always thinking about how important good dentition affects our food intake. However, I think it’s important to remember how good nutrition affects our dentition. This can be especially important when teaching your kids good eating and dental hygiene habits. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a great info graphic on nutrition and oral health…check it out!


Tomato, Basil, and Feta Salad

photo 2Some of you may remember me mentioning on my Facebook page a few weeks ago that I would share the recipe of this little salad I made from my finds at farmers market. I’m finally getting to share today. With all the wonderful produce available this summer, it’s hard not to enjoy a nice summer salad. This would make a great addition to any July 4th get togethers or cookouts going on this summer. This is a modified version of a recipe from with the tiny addition of black olives and instead of roma tomatoes, I used some plump tomatoes I found at the market that day.

photo 1

6 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 small cucumber- quartered length wise and chopped (I used 2 small cucumbers for my recipe)
3 green onions, chopped
1 small can sliced black olives
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
3 Tb olive oil
2 Tb balsamic vinegar
3 Tb crumbled feta cheese (I may have used more than this 🙂 )
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine and toss all ingredients.

Side note: I like to let this chill in the fridge for a bit, but that may just be personal preference on my part.

Please try this out and let me know what you think! Please let me know of any of your own variations to this recipe.


Catch up Monday

news-and-events__home-alone-632Forgive me readers for I have sinned, it has been almost 2 months since my last post. Needless to say, I have quite a bit to catch up on here with the blog. Over the next week I’m hoping to catch up on several things including my cruise, trip to a beautiful B&B in Tennessee, and other shenanigans.

For now, I figured I would catch up on more recent things such as Father’s Day. I hope all of you enjoyed some quality time with the father figures in your life this past weekend. This year, my mother’s birthday actually fell on Father’s Day. My husband and I ended up meeting my parents and brother at a restaurant in Birmingham…Seasons 52. I really like this restaurant and had it for the first time for my brother’s college graduation dinner. As a dietitian, I appreciate their concept of every menu item being 475 calories or less. We ended up sharing a few appetizers including a Grilled Garlic Pesto Chicken Flatbread and a Ahi Tuna Tartare with a wasabi-avocado mousse, tropical salsa, and Hawaiian sea salt crisps.

photo 1 (3)


photo 2 (2)I enjoyed the barbecue salad so much the last time I was here that I decided to get it again. Their menus are seasonal and our server let us know that they would soon be able to transition to their summer menu.


It wouldn’t be a complete family get together without some (SEVERAL) pictures. And honestly, I don’t mind it because sometimes I forget how quickly life progresses, and it’s nice to have pictures to remember memories.







Other than the blessing and pleasure of getting to see my wonderful family (we even got to see my in-laws while we were in Bham), my parents were wonderful enough to bring me a hard copy of the Women’s Health Philippines magazine I was mentioned in as well as one of my dad’s older DSLR cameras for me to play around with. Needless to say, my sweet doggie Lou is going to be my model for the next couple of weeks.

photo 1 (5)

photo 2 (4)

photo (19)And last but not least…here’s a picture of my Lou. I haven’t taken the time yet to understand how to work this SLR but we can consider this my “before” picture with no skill whatsoever.



Until next time! Hopefully sooner rather than later 🙂

Calling All Cruise Veterans


Hi friends! I apologize for my lack of posts in the past week or so. It’s been a little hectic around the office, and I’ve been gearing up for my little brother’s college graduation this Saturday as well as a cruise with 3 girlfriends next week (also lovingly known as LADYPALOOZA 2014), AND my 2 year anniversary with my husband. As a first time cruiser and someone who does get significantly affected by motion sickness, I’m open to any suggestions from my followers. I’ve read the tips for First Time Cruisers on Cruise Critic but I’d love to know if you have any recommendations from personal experiences. We’ll be on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas leaving from Port Canaveral for a 3 night trip to the Bahamas so I’ll be excited to share pictures with everyone when I return. So with that said, fire away with any recommendations you may have whether it’s food selections, wardrobe, or anything in between!


Ingredient Substitutions

Happy Monday, folks! I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods today, but in my area of west Alabama, it is an extremely rainy Monday. One thing that I hate about rain is that it doesn’t exactly get me in the mood to run to the grocery store to get the ingredients I may need for a particular recipe. Clients always ask me about recipe substitutions not only for a healthier alternative but sometimes because they just don’t have certain staple ingredients in the pantry. Have no fear, friends! The good folks at is here to save the day. You may remember me mentioning the site’s nutrition search last summer which is another very helpful tool.

recipe substitutionsAs you can see, this site has quite the variety of ingredient substitution possibilities for those days you just don’t have time to run to the store. Check out this resource for yourself and let me know what you think. What are the most common things that you substitute when cooking your favorite recipes? Let’s chat!