Sweet Recipes: Oddles of Zoodles!

I have finally made my way to Bed Bath & Beyond and picked up a Veggetti! This thing is magic, let me tell you.

You can use any elongated, cylindrical shaped vegetable; such as a zucchini or a carrot, or even a potato, to achieve beautifully julienned strands of vegetable

. As you might have guessed from the title, I’ve gone ahead and used zucchinis!

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The veggetti comes with two ends, one side is for thinner “noodles”, while the other is for thicker ones. I did a mixture of both. With anything in cooking, use caution while operating the veggetti as it does have sharp hardware.

After spiralizing your vegetable, you have the option of boiling your zucchini noodles, or keeping them raw and crisp. I chose the latter.

What I would recommend with this recipe is adding a little bit of salt and pepper directly onto the zoodles; that way it has its own flavor on top of which ever sauce you use on top (if you so choose).

I added some organic, GMO free, tuscan vodka sauce from wholefoods, and ground “white meat” turkey. This recipe is definitely a healthier option to the spaghetti and meat sauce dinner!

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xoxo

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Sweet Life: A Fall Weekend in New England

Red, orange and yellow filled trees line the streets as the cold crisp air caresses your cheeks and nose. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches receive a gaggle of visitors both young and old alike.

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Cider is warmed and spiked and is accompanied by home made soups and apple crumbles. Chunky sweaters and neutral colored clothing drape the figures of the oh-so stylish.

That is the scene all over New England when Autumn falls upon us, and it is glorious!

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This weekend was a typical fall weekend in New England for me. It was filled with laughter, friends, loved ones and lots of food.

Friday night, my roommate and I (and her Airdale puppy named Gerdy) had a scary movie party and watched “The Rite” starring Anthony Hopkins. I made a delicious steak bomb (minus the cheese). My steak bomb was very simple: shaved beef cooked medium rare, sauteed yellow onions and green bell peppers with an assortment of spicy things and seasonings (a full recipe video coming soon!)

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Saturday was date night. My boyfriend and I are both food lovers; we live to eat rather than eat to live. We appreciate great flavors and different types of food. One genre of food that we love the most is Asian: sushi, thai, japanese and chinese. We do not discriminate.

We dined at an authentic Thai restaurant in Newton, MA called Amarin of Thailand. The ambiance was calming, warm and made you feel like you stepped into another world. You’re greeted by such awesome service and feel very well cared for all night. (I couldn’t stop raving about how wonderful our server was)

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Our appetizers at the Amarin were: shrimp in a blanket with a sweet plum sauce and pineapple fried rice with shrimp, chicken, crab meat, pineapples (duh), mushrooms, green peas and curry powder. The only thing I did not like in regard to the fried rice was that the crab meat was not fresh, but it was imitation crab meat. Other than that everything was perfect.

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Our main courses were a seafood madness (shrimp, scallops, squid, salmon and other chunks of fish in a hot chili sauce) and crazy noodles.

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The busy weekend came to end on Sunday with a harvest moon fest that my boyfriend’s family throws every year. It started as a get together for the children, but I think the adults enjoy it just as much, if not more, than the kids. The smell of cinnamon infused apple cider martinis, freshly carved pumpkins, slow cooked meatball subs, vegetarian chili and apple crumble gently engulfed me and filled my heart with content. The sounds of laughter of everyone and the true look of happiness on my boyfriend’s 100 year old grandmother’s face made me really appreciative of life in general.

We may get stressed and caught up in the busyness of life, but let’s never forget to decompress, grab a hot plate of food and enjoy!

xoxo

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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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