Sweet Recipe: Quick and Easy Chopped Salad

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After being locked up in a building all day, shackled to a computer screen, desk and head-set, coming home to make an elaborate meal is the last thing on my mind.

I peek into my fridge and emerge with:

-lettuce wraps

-3 thinly sliced turkey cutlets (I marinated in bbq sauce the night before)

– red onion

-garbanzo beans

-red quinoa

-my roommates vegan Caesar dressing (I asked her permission first)

What could I make with these ingredients? Turkey and quinoa lettuce wraps? Nahhh, not in the mood for that. Think Janelle, think!

And that’s when the idea came to me! In the neighborhood where I was born in New Jersey (and where my family still live), there is this corner store deli, Sandwiches Unlimited, that sells amazing chopped salads. The lettuce is crisp and the deli meat is thinly sliced to an almost paper-like appearance. In front of you, the deli master (I’ll call him that for blog post purposes) swiftly chops all the ingredients that you have personally request. Then atop the salad, he drizzles, or drenches, your choice of creamy dressing. Heaven.

This recipe is simple, easy and quick. It was ready in 15 minutes. Saving you plenty of time to kick back, relax and watch your favorite star competing on some dancing show.

First, I cooked my turkey cutlets in a wok, allowing the hickory flavors of the BBQ sauce to infuse into the cutlet.

At the same time, I was setting up my salad station: chopping the lettuce wraps and slicing my red onion. In a mixing bowl, I combined the chopped lettuce, crisp red onions, organic garbanzo beans (from a can), and 2 cups of my already cooked quinoa.

After about 10 minutes (thin turkey cutlets cook quickly) remove the turkey and let them cool for a bit. Once they are cooled to the point you’re able to handle them, grab your knife and chop the smoking turkey into tiny pieces (as big or as tiny as you’d like).

Add your meat to the mixing bowl and toss the ingredients together, transforming it into a dazzling healthy and digestable rainbow.  Drizzle on your Caesar dressing, and SERVE!

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It is super simple and tastes like you went to Sandwiches Unlimited and were served on a white table cloth by candle light by the deli master himself.

Trust me, you’ll be making this many work nights to come.

Want more recipes and yummy #foodporn? Follow me on twitter: @thesweetscene and on Instagram: @thesweetsceneblog

xoxo

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Sweet Life: Behind the Blog-Minority with a Major Disorder

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Hi Guys. This is me, Janelle.The writer behind The Sweet Scene Blog.

In my “About Me” section of my blog, it doesn’t really give you a full idea of why I actually started food blogging. So, I figured I’d write a post on why I started pursuing food blogging as a possible career and a way to inspire other girls who are going through what I went through and continue to keep under control.

About 5 years ago I developed an eating disorder, specifically bulimia nervosa. It was a scary time for me and I was way out of control. I was a full blown bulimic.

I used my disorder as a coping mechanism for a lot of other issues I didn’t want to deal with.  About 1-2% of adolescent and young adult women suffer from this disorder. That’s a big number of women and girls.

I thought I was being secretive and hiding it from everyone, but when I went from looking vibrant and full of life, with my trademark chipmunk cheeks, and full breasts, to literally a bag of bones, everyone around me knew something was up.

When I got to college and joined my sorority I suddenly was in this bigger bubble than my suburban, Catholic school girl bubble back home in Connecticut. I felt overwhelmed.

I didn’t like the fact that not only did I stand out because I was a minority amongst my mostly all-white circle (which I’m not new to, most of my friends and school mates back home are white) but I was also curvier and (in my eyes) a whale compared to the other girls! It’s sad to say, but I felt uglier as well.

Now,in hindsight, I see that my thinking was all wrong, and toxic, but I truly believed I wasn’t good enough. So I took matters into my own hands; I controlled everything I ate and what I allowed myself to keep down and digest…which was nothing.

I began to lose weight and began to get more “attention”. When people would say “wow Janelle, you look so skinny” whether it was out of concern on their part, for me, it was validation that I’m doing it right. Justification to keep going with my disorder.

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The 4 years I lived in my own shell filled with binging and purging and partying, I wasn’t my normal self, I wasn’t truly happy. I began to push away a lot of my close friends and my parents. All I cared about was losing more weight (mind you, at my lowest, I was under 100 pounds and size 00 was too big) and partying.

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It took graduating, and starting a relationship with my boyfriend (who I am still currently dating) for me to snap out of it.

One night, I confessed everything to him. He was there for me 1000% and convinced me to tell my mother my secret.

I wrote my mom a letter telling her everything and from there it was mission: GET BETTER.

I went to a treatment facility in Greenwich, CT called Renfrew. I went through 3 months of intensive out patient therapy. I met with top notch professionals to help me sort through everything and find ways to cope with life in a healthy way; and through the process, I found out that I have high anxiety disorder.

I began to really love myself from the inside and out. I reached out to all those I hurt while I was going through my “rough time” and rekindled friendships that I smashed to pieces during that 4 year period. I began to feel alive, I felt like Janelle again. It was all due to me wanting to accept help and to the support from my family, boyfriend and friends.

I got down to the fundametals and educated myself on the different types of food and the benefits they have on our bodies. I truly have a great relationship with food now.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when my anxiety gets really bad, or I stare a little too long in the mirror and begin to get those ED (eating disorder) voices in my head, and begin to “body check” (scanning your body and pointing out problem areas or checking for visible bones).

Instead of “using symptoms” (binging and purging), as we call it in treatment, I now know ways to properly cope with those emotions.

Just like any addiction (because an eating disorder is an addiction) you ALWAYS have it. It doesn’t 100% go away. You just have to make sure that it doesn’t flare up and take control again. I hope through my blog, I can inspire young girls, young adult women, even mothers (women in their 40s and 50s suffer as well) and especially minority women who are currently suffering with this horrific disorder.

It gets better. I promise.

about me

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, visit this helpful website.

You can also leave me comments, or email me directly: thesweetsceneblog@gmail.com and I will answer any questions you may have!

Stay Beautiful!!!!

xoxo

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Sweet Life: Weekend of Recipe Failures

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As a food blogger, my main goal is to share a bunch of recipes that I make with all of my readers. Recipes that I believe encompass my food passions: organic, wholesome and good for you!

With that said, not every recipe that I attempt turns out amazing. Matter of fact a lot of my attempts at recipes are trial and error before they are perfected. Sometimes I can come straight out of the gate and nail it, but no one’s perfect.

So for this post I’m just going to be candid and say that, yes, I want to give you already perfected recipes so that you too can make the dish, BUT, in getting to the finished product, it took A LOT of mistakes.

This weekend was just a very trying weekend blogging/ career wise. In my next post I’m going to be candid again and explain why I really started food blogging and really get into the nitty gritty of it. Anyway, this weekend, my anxiety really was sky high. I’m actually having an anxiety attack right now as I type this. I just have a lot on my mind and am anxious regarding my career path, money woes, making food blogging etc a full time career etc. Typical 20-something problems.

I had a failed attempt at trying ramen form wholefoods for the first time, and then had a failed attempt at making egg-free and gluten free brown rice flour pancakes this morning:

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But I had to remind myself that things are going to happen (good/bad), but all of the failures are stepping stones in the right direction to making my dream of blogging and eventually being on youtube full time and curating ideas and events for others a reality. It may not happen at the rapid pace that i’d like, but it will happen. Why do I 100% believe it will happen? Because I know what I was put on this earth to do. I’m a creative person, I was put here to create content, entertain and inspire people.

My story to how I got here will inspire many people, mostly minority women, but all women and men too (it will make more sense tomorrow when my behind the blog post goes live).

But I just wanted to maybe inspire someone feeling down about where they’re supposed to go in life. Just keep on pushing forward and keep doing what makes you happy, it’ll happen if you keep pushing!

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Sweet Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

The joy of Fall, or Autumn depending on where you’re from. The leaves are changing color, the fashion is 100 times better and the pumpkin spice latte’s are flowing rapidly from every Starbucks all over the country.

Along with the season change comes cold and flu season. Which brings me to this recipe I whipped together tonight.

I developed a cold probably from my boyfriend, but I swear it’s from this man on the T who wasn’t trained with manners when he was younger because he was hacking up a lung and didn’t even attempt to cover his mouth.

So here I am, tissue box and Emergen-C on hand and congestion filling my head. (I’m ranting…on with the recipe)

I don’t think I’ve ever had butternut squash soup, but I do know tis the season for it.

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This recipe calls for: 1 pack of cut up butternut squash, half of a yellow onion diced, 1 red bell peppers sliced,1 whole apple diced (skin removed), some cinnamon to taste, salt, chicken broth, and pumpkin seeds!

In a stock pot, add your chicken broth and your butternut squash ingredients. Sprinkle 4 dashes of salt and let the ingredients boil for about 20-30 minutes.

Once the ingredients are tender, add the mix into a blender and pulse for about 1 minute.

Place the soup back into the pot and let it simmer for 5 more minutes, adding a couple dashes of cinnamon.

Then serve. Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on top and enjoy! This is a great starter for any dinner party this season.

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Don’t forget: follow me on instagram @thesweetsceneblog and on twitter: @thesweetscene

xoxo

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