Fit Pantry - a Fit Foodie's thoughts, tips and recipe

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Protein Egg Muffies

This is my spin off based on a recipe from FIXATE cookbook by Autumn Calabrese. Nothing wrong with the original recipe - it is in fact simple and very easy. If you rarely cook, or unfamiliar in the kitchen or have no time to cook the original recipe is perfect. I just like to add some things here and there, shifting the flavor to my favor sort of speak :)  Keep in mind, that while doing it, I still have "RED" in mind for the finish food category.


Serves: 6
Prep time 15-20 min
Cooking time 15-20 min
21 Day Fix container: 1 RED / serving

12-cup muffin tin or 24-cup mini muffin tin
oil spray (EVOO or coconut oil or nonstick spray)

6 whole eggs
10 egg whites
1 cup chopped mushrooms (I prefer baby bellas)
1 rotisserie chicken breast, chopped small
1 medium roasted red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Sea/Himalayan Salt
1/8 tsp Italian herb

  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Lightly coat the muffin tray with the oil.
  3. Sauted the mushrooms halfway cooked. Shive out the water that comes out.
  4. Sauted the onions. 
  5. Mixed well all ingredients into a bowl. Stir to mix. Do not beat the eggs!
  6. Evenly pour the mixture into the muffin cups. 
  7. Bake for 15-20 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean. 
Bake time is faster when using mini muffin tin.  The mixture with expand and rise up when cooked, then deflate a little when cools down. 

If you are interested in joining my 21 Day Fix challenge group, message me on Facebook or email me


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Baked Eggplant Balls "Meatless Meatballs"

We served ours with the Chimicurri sauce and it was really good! :)

I love discussing recipes with Mom. We both like to find ways to modify the recipes to our liking. Me, I like to find alternative ingredients to make it healthier and or less calories. Mom, considering her experience playing in the kitchen, likes to find ways to make the process more efficient and less time consuming. Both of us would swap some ingredients to something that we normally have handy in the pantry.

Our object of disperiment (discussion/experiment) this time is meatless meatballs made out of eggplants. Now, I normally don't like to cook or eat eggplant, but this looks promising enough that I was willing to give it a shot.  Instead of baking the eggplant to soften, we peeled and cooked it in a pan, and use food processor to finish the job. So here it goes:

Meatless Meatball a.k.a. Baked Eggplant Balls

  • 1 small Eggplant (about 12 oz)
  • 1/2 cup of Cannellini* beans (if using canned, rinse well)
  • 1 large clove of Garlic, use garlic press or minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Cilantro (or basil or flat leaf parsley)
  • 1 cup whole wheat Panko style breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp Sea/Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
    (Use ingredients in green color for vegan option)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese  |  2 tbs Nutritional Yeast 
  • 1 large egg   |  1.5 tbs Olive Oil 
  • Olive oil spray
*using kidney or pinto beans would be all right too, but the color of the balls will be much darker.

Make about 20 golf ball size. Serving size: 4.  
Cooking time: 10 min stove + 25 min oven
Prep time: 20 Min
Count suggestion for 21 DAY FIX portion: 1 Green + 1/4 Red

Heat up the oven to 375° then start prepping the mixture. Remove the stem and peel the eggplant using peeler, cut into really small cubes (like a quarter size from pictures below) or slice thin. Make sure they are all about the same thickness for uniform doneness. The smaller/thinner the cut, the faster it will cook in the pan.

Heat up a pan and keep med-high heat and cook the eggplants until soft - no oil needed.

Keep tossing to make sure no burnt chunks and until the eggplant turns to darker color.  Turn off the heat and let it cool.

While the eggplant is cooling, rinse the beans well (if canned). Chop the cilantro (coarse if you are using food processor, if not, finely chop).

In a food processor mix in: egg, beans, garlic, cilantro, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Take out the eggplant and add it to the mixture. Pulse until everything is mixed well.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the panko until all well mixed.

Spray a cookie sheet or baking pan with the oil. Roll the mixture into about the size of a golf ball. Place the balls on the baking pan, spray the top lightly and put them into the oven.

Spray the top of the balls with oil.  Bake on middle shelf for about 20-25 minutes, until the balls cooked and harden. You could flip them on the last 5 minutes if you also want browning on the top side.

When they are ready to serve, sprinkle the top with some parmesan cheese and garnish with the leftover parsley or cilantro.

Today I was using pinto beans. Same great taste, just a much darker color; looks more like real meat, doesn't it? :)

If you make this recipe, tag @fitpantry on Instagram. Enjoy! ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Customizing Chimicurri Sauce

A thin slap of beef steak over spinach pesto pasta
My girlfriend took me to a hole in the wall Peruvian restaurant in West Covina, called Mr. Pollo. The food was off the hook! The place was continuously busy. People just kept on coming in and out, mostly ordered the food to go due to limited seating in the tiny place. After we got our food, my friend brought some sauces to our table. She said, " This is chimicurri sauce and that is something spicy."  Tasted a dab of the spicy stuff and decided that's not for me. But the chimicurri sauce though, I LIKE!

I normally don't eat too much of oily sauce (olive oil included) since my stomach can't handle it. This is, however, too good to skip. She told me she usually took extra sauce home to flavor her dish at home. Good idea. Although, I plan to make some of my own.

Turns out there are plenty of variations of chimicurri recipes. You can't find 2 recipe that are exactly the same. It got me thinking that this must be a very easy and forgiving sauce, mixed ingredients to the preference of the person who make it. Since I never made one before, I decided to use one of the recipe.

The core ingredients are: Olive oil, Vinegar (red wine/apple cider/regular, or simply lemon juice), salt and pepper, garlic, and Parsley (or Cilantro).
Some recipes also use: Oregano, both Parsley and Cilantro, Red Pepper Flakes, Mint.

Batch #1 of the sauce I was using: evoo, Red Wine Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Parsley (mainly), Cilantro (some), Oregano (a little), and Red Pepper Flakes.

I used a food processor to blend all of the ingredients in, including the evoo. The result was a slightly spicy sauce with the consistency of a pesto. It was good and rich, but not at all like the sauce at that restaurant.

Then it got me thinking... it was a self serve sauce, meaning the restaurant can't afford to spend a lot of money on making that sauce. The cost of the ingredients should be as bottom as possible and the types of ingredients should be as few as possible. I recall only the strong notes of cilantro, garlic and a bit of tanginess. So time to do more experiments and rearrange the recipe I found.

After 2 more tries, I think I got it :)  Pretty simple too!  Here is the recipe I like:


2 cups of cilantro
5 cloves garlic
1/3 apple cider vinegar*
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cups of mint*

*or any kind vinegar you have: red wine, regular, or simply lemon juice. If you want to make this a dipping sauce, I suggest using red wine or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. 
*The third batch I made I added mint and I like how it adds a subtle note to the sauce.

Mix salt and pepper in the olive oil, set it aside. I prefer using my handy kitchen knife to chop all of the leaves and garlic, but you can use food processor to blend the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until everything is chopped and mixed, usually not too fine, occasionally scrape the side of the food processor with a spatula to push the leaves down.

The next step is your call: if you want consistency like pesto, run the motor again while pouring the olive oil mix in. Otherwise, run the motor very slow, or simply mix the olive oil to the batch in a bowl with spatula.  I personally like the second option.

Transfer the sauce into a glass jar, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to let the flavor meld together. Take out of the fridge and let it unchill a little bit before serve.

The sauce is good for: dipping sauce, glaze over grill or pan-fry meat/fish, salad, over bread, toss pasta with, cook rice or quinoa, etc.

Now go try it and enjoy :)


2 cups flat leaves parsley
1 cup cilantro
1/4 cup oregano
8 cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil

Same method of making the sauce as above. This one has a spicy note from the red pepper flakes.

Ingredients for the experiments

I like chopping mine really fine

Yes I love using knife :)

Careful of your hand and fingers though

Minced the garlic fine

I didn't use food processor for this batch. All ingredients are mixed in a bowl

First is the salt pepper & vinegar

Then olive oil

Just stir. Simple, right?

Transfer to a bottle, and refrigerate to let the flavor meld

Pretty green color :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

BUR - Day 5: Ultimate Reset

Friday!! :)  That means time for facial. I don't do it every Friday, obviously, but it is a chance to go out and make lunch dates at the same time. While on the Reset, I have just to be picky on where to eat.

Breakfast started with scrambled eggs, mainly whites, of course. Then lunch at Lemonade in Pasadena. This place has a good variety of salad with quality ingredients. No dessert for me this visit. I took this chance to buy extra salad for dinner.

The only regret I had was not bringing enough Mineralized water with me. I should have brought 2 bottles.  Still ended the day with at least 50 oz of water.

Mainly egg whites simple cramble

Really bomb!!! Half avocado with tuna salad

Sayur Bening

Beet Salad, it has beets, melon, chickpeas, greens

BUR - Day 4: Ultimate Reset

Thursday mornings is usually when I teach Body Combat class, then sometimes, a few of us go for breakfast at the Panera cafe across from the gym. This time, no gym for me, but we (friends at gym) decided to use the time convenience to meet up for breakfast. Good thing about Panera, is their food selection is pretty healthy and not much different from what I would make at home. Um.. yes, I am not talking about the bread and pastries :)

At Panera, I ordered oatmeal, with condiments on the side. That means the blueberries, brown sugar and granolas on the side. I didn't use the brown sugar and granola only the berries with oatmeal. I also ordered cobb salad, minus the cheese and bacon. It comes with grilled chicken. I picked on the oatmeal, finished the berries and salad then took the rest of the oatmeal home (that would be my breakfast sometimes this week).

By "lunch" I was still full. We hang out until 12:30 there anyway, so there goes lunch and I went straight to snack time.

For snack, I made steamed yams. Mom brought 4 big ones to make Sayur Bening, a traditional soup I grew up with. Very simple and easy to make, using 1 type of root commonly found in Southeast Asia, called fingerroots. I steamed some and chopped off the rest into large cubes to prepare making the Sayur Bening that night. I was in a bit of a time crunch to cook the yams not because I was going to have it for dinner, but before they started sprouting.

Dinner was finishing the Chinese Herbal soup plus strawberries with green salad.

Steamed Yams with toasted coconut and cinnamon

Strawberry salad with balsamic vinegar

Chinese herbal soup

BUR - Day 3: Ultimate Reset

Starting the day with something warm for the tummy. Oatmeal with strawberries. This week, strawberries is going to be my staple berries. I bought a large container of ripe ones, so I better finish them soon!  I prep a bunch of them at once for easy snacking, storing and ready to use.  Simply take out the stem, trim the top, cut in quarter with sharp knife, store in airtight container in the fridge.

I cooked Chunky Tofu and Mushroom stir fry that afternoon, enough to last 2-3 meals. Starting with the basic, just garlic and evoo, then when everything is cooked, I added in the seasoning. For this, I use my favorite Thai Curry Spice from The Blend.

Water intake today is good, I managed to drink up 60 oz :)

Oatmeal with Strawberries, almonds, flaxseed and cinnamon, and coconut sugar

Chocolate Vegan Shakeology

Herbal Chinese soup with lean pork

Chunky Mushroom and Tofu stir fry with Thai Curry Spice over salad