Nutritionally complete meal plans

Planning meals and eating can be significant sources of stress for those who suffer from eating disorders and disordered eating patterns. Instead of focusing on the calorie content of foods which can lead to unhealthy restriction, attention should be paid to the nutritional value of foods and the health benefits of ingredients. Eating high quality and nutritionally rich foods can boost energy, improve skin and hair and even improve wound healing.

In this post I have included two snack recipes and one dinner recipe that contain nutritious and high quality ingredients that offer many health benefits. I hope you all find these recipes useful and that they inspire you to be healthy and kickstart a desire to fuel your body with the ingredients it needs to be the efficient and hardworking machine it can be!

Quark Bread 

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 45 mins

Food groups: carbohydrates


  • 350g all purpose flour
  • 1 pint plain quark – quark is high in protein, calcium and phosphate which is essential for muscle strengthening and functionality (Livestrong, 2015).
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 20g of baking powder
  • 20g vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 5 tablespoon of shredded coconut – coconut can improve digestion, supports thyroid function and improves insulin secretion (Livestrong, 2015).
  • 150g raisins, plumped in boiled water for 15 minutes.
  • 1 teaspoon coconut essence


Preheat oven to 180°C. Rub one round cake tin with butter. Set aside.

Put your raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them steep for 5 – 10 minutes and then drain them thoroughly. This will make them juicier, and softer.

Mix the flour, quark, sugar, oil and raisins until light and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add baking powder, coconut and coconut essence. Beat until incorporated.

Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle some milk and sugar and bake the bread for another 15 mins until golden (Recipe as transcribed by Gander, 2016).

Ginger-Beet Juice

  • 1 medium orange, peeled and quartered
  • 3 kale leaves – kale is rich in vitamins A, C and K and also rich in folate. These vitamins are essential for healthy eye and brain development and are important to immunity (WebMD, 2017).
  • 1 medium apple, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 1 large beet, peeled and cut into wedges – beets are rich in nitrates which can lower blood pressure and improve heart health (Livestrong, 2014). 
  • 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger – ginger can improve digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties which can aid in pain relief (Livestrong, 2013).
  • Ice cubes (optional)
  1. Working in this order, process orange, kale, apple, carrot, beet and ginger through a juicer according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Fill 2 glasses with ice, if desired, and pour the juice into the glasses. Serve immediately (Recipe as transcribed by EatingWell, 2013). 

Black Bean Burger

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can organic black beans, rinsed and drained – black beans are high in protein and fiber and provide the body with energy while containing very little fat (Livestrong, 2014).
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 T cumin – cumin can help control blood sugar and stimulates bile production, aiding in the digestion of fats and nutrient absorption (Livestrong, 2015).
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease lightly

2. Warm oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add celery and onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.

3. Pour beans into a large bowl and use a fork to mash into a think paste.  Scrape vegetables from skillet into bowl and stir in egg, cumin and bread crumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.

4. Use your fingers to form into 4 patties (do not overmix).  Place patties on baking sheet and bake until firm and set, about 10 minutes on each side (Recipe as transcribed by Marsh, 2014).


If you or someone you know are struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating patterns there are many organizations that can help! The following organizations can connect you with therapists, dietitians and other forms of help to assist you or your loved ones in overcoming disordered eating.

National Eating Disorders Association.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders.

Overeaters Anonymous.


EatingWell. (2013). Ginger beet juice. Retrieved from

Gander, K. (2016). Quark bread recipe. Retrieved from

Marsh, L. (2014). Black bean burger recipe. Retrieved from

National Eating Disorders Association.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders.

Nutritional information retrieved from

Overeaters Anonymous.

Rainbow food image. Retrieved from


Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Hello everyone!

I’m back as promised, and today I’ve made a great recipe that I found in the Food Network’s Chopped cookbook, Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps. I’ve made this recipe before and I love it because it’s super easy and quick to make but it’s still healthy and delicious. Even my 13 month old son loves it!

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (keep whites and greens separate)
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1.5 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
1.5 cups diced pineapple
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
Lime wedges for serving
Hot cooked white rice for serving (I used brown rice)
1 head Romaine lettuce for serving

I didn’t realize until I was ready for the cilantro that I grabbed parsley from the fridge! LOL. Make sure you don’t do what I did!

Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, scallion whites and old bay seasoning. Cook until veggies start to brown, about 5 minutes.


Add the turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until golden, about 5 minutes.


Stir in the fish sauce and scallion greens until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 5 minutes.


Stir in the pineapple, cilantro, and lime juice. Remove from heat.

Spoon some rice and turkey into the middle of a washed lettuce leaf to make wraps. Serve with lime wedges and Sriracha, if desired.


And that’s all there is to it! This can be made in 30 minutes.. perfect for having to cook and entertain a toddler :). This meal only cost about $10 to buy the ground turkey and fresh produce and can serve 4-5 people. I’m not cooking tomorrow because I’m going over to my in-laws house for dinner so the leftovers from today’s dinner will be tomorrow’s lunch!

I will be doing another post by the end of the week. Not quite sure what I’ll be making yet so stay tuned and stay hungry!! 😉

Smashed Potatoes with Garlic-Herb Marinated Lamb Chops and Avocado Corn Salad

Hi guys!

Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve posted! Life has gotten exponentially busier for me since my last post. I am now the mommy to an amazing 13 month old boy and I’m in the process of finishing my first year of nursing school. So obviously this leaves little time or money for dining out as I used to but that’s okay because I get to cook much more often now! I’m a huge foodie so I am constantly on the search for interesting and new (and cheap!) ingredients and then finding/creating recipes to feed my new little family. There have been a few misses here and there, but thankfully there have been many more hits, haha! I hope you guys continue to follow along because I promise to post more often!

Today I haven’t been feeling very well and was in the mood for comfort food so I made smashed potatoes with garlic herb marinated lamb chops and an avocado corn salad. Unfortunately the lighting in my kitchen was pretty terrible due to the time I started cooking so most of the photos posted aren’t mine. In the future I promise to cook a little earlier to get better photos.

Smashed Red Potatoes*

5 washed red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain potatoes in a colander and set aside. While the potatoes are draining, heat the heavy cream in the pot until just warm. Add the potatoes and smash to desired texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*This is a modified recipe. The original recipe calls for garlic which you can roast in foil then add to the heavy cream before you add the potatoes. I opted to leave the garlic out since I added extra garlic to the lamb marinade.

Photo credit: Laura Zaser/Buzzfeed

Garlic-Herb Marinated Lamb Chops

2 shoulder cut lamb chops bone in (about 1 pound total)
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1-2 garlic cloves mashed into a paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients and let lamb chops marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat broiler to high then cook chops 5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Once done, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Photo credit: Gail Albert Halaban


Avocado Corn Salad

1 avocado, cubed
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
Kernels from 1 corn cob

For the dressing:

2 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 tbsp lime juice
Salt to taste

Boil fresh corn cob for 5 minutes. Remove from water and cut kernels from cob. Combine all ingredients.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


This meal costed just about $10 and was shared by 2 people. All components of the meal went perfectly together and there were even leftovers! Tomorrow I’m making Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps, another super easy and cheap recipe.

Stay tuned for more!!

Picnic Garden Korean BBQ Buffet House

Caution: Extreme food porn ahead!!

So, I do apologize for my lack of posts since my introductory post. I guess I’ve just been waiting for that perfect “real” first post in order to write anything, and yesterday I got the opportunity when my months long craving was (overly) satisfied and I finally went back to Picnic Garden!


That’s right, Picnic Garden is an ALL YOU CAN EAT (!!!) self-grill Korean BBQ Buffet House right here in Flushing, Queens, NY. I was introduced to this little gem about 4 years ago and I’ve been hooked since. The price has risen steadily since I first started dining here and is currently at $30.99/adult during the dinner shift. A tad pricey but sooo worth it if you bring your appetite.

Anyhow, once you’re seated, there is a buffet line where you can grab your meats which range from kalbi (Korean beef short ribs), flank steak, spicy/non spicy pork and chicken, bacon, squid, shrimp, chicken gizzards, intestines, etc. You also grab your sides from the buffet line, of which they have a pretty nice selection – glass noodles, salad, rice, kimchi, California rolls, dumplings, etc.

Since I like to think of myself as a seasoned veteran of this place, I go straight for my favorites, which are the glass noodles and salad with a spicy dressing for sides.

ImageFor meats, you can’t go wrong with the Kalbi which is marinated in a Korean soy sauce, the squid and gizzards!


 Grilling some kalbi (YUM!)




 Look at those bad boys sizzle! 😀

Now, as the name implies, this is a self grilling restaurant. The most help you will get from the waitresses here is them cutting your meats into smaller pieces, changing the grill plate every so often and bringing you your drinks. I have family that lives all over the world so whenever they come to New York, looking for something different I always bring them here and it’s been a hit every time. So, if you live or will be in New York City, venture out to Flushing and treat yourself! The only regret you might have is stuffing yourself silly like I did last night but it’s soooo worth it every once in a while 😉


Picnic Garden
147-42 Northern Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11354

Food: The Great Unifier

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food, give you their heart. ” – Cesar Chavez

Hello to all who may stumble upon my little home in the inter web.

My name is Stephanie and this little blog is dedicated to my love for food, travel and culture. My passion for these things started at a young age. As a NYC native and a child of mixed heritage, I was exposed to diversity from the moment I entered the world.

Always the adventurous eater, with a particular passion for spicy foods, I encountered many people who although different on the outside, became fast friends because of our shared love for good eats. You see, as proven on a smaller scale in my personal life, on a grander scale I believe food can unite people and create a bridge of communication between cultures.

So, to my new friends, old friends, and soon-to-be friends, I ask you to follow me on my culinary journey, wherever it may lead.