I’m back with part 3 of recipe reviews from my girl crush Maria MenounosEveryGirl’s Guide to Cooking book! This will be my last review for awhile, as I have done most of the recipes that I have wanted to try so far. As you saw in Part I and Part II, I give my comments, rating and the total number of times I swore.

I am telling you guys, this book has helped me eat healthier and make smarter choices. Between that and exercising, I achieved my goal weight of 147! 🙂


Coffee-Coconut-Almond Frosty

Serves 1



1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or regular milk

1/2 cup cold coffee

1/2 frozen banana, chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1 cup ice chips

Chopped almonds, for topping


1. In a blender or food processor, process all of the ingredients except the almonds until blended.

2. Add additional ice chips to achieve the desired consistency. Top with the chopped almonds.

Comments: I love having this smoothie for breakfast or dessert! The only thing I don’t add is the coconut oil or coconut flakes, as I am not a huge fan of coconut. You will get hooked on this after 1 sip, trust me!

Rating: 10/10

Total times I swore: 0


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Breakfast Burrito

Serves 1



1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 medium sweet potato, diced

1/2 small onion, diced

1/2 cup drained canned black beans

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or black pepper to taste


2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

4 egg whites or 2 whole eggs

1 flour tortilla (whole grain or gluten-free), warmed


1. Warm 1 Tablespoon of the oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the sweet potato and onion for 8 minutes, stirring often.

2. Stir in the beans, cumin, pepper flakes or black pepper to taste and season with salt to taste; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the lime juice and parsley.

3. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel; add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and set over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites (or eggs) until frothy. Add to the hot pan; scramble to the desired doneness.

4. Scrape the eggs onto the warm tortilla; top with the bean mixture. Wrap the tortilla around the filling.

Comments: This is a very filling breakfast, I didn’t even need to eat lunch! The cumin and red pepper flakes really gives this dish an extra kick, plus sweet potatoes have a ton of fiber in the skin.

Rating: 9/10

Total times I swore: 4


Fresh Tomato and Spinach Soup Tortellini

Serves 4



2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large shallot or small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable or chicken broth

6 ounces fresh cheese tortellini

1 3/4 pounds of fresh tomatoes (about 4 medium tomatoes), chopped

1 box (5 ounces) baby or regular spinach


1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

2. Add the shallot, cook for 5 minutes, until softened, stirring.

3. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds, stirring.

4. Add the broth and tortellini; cook for 5 minutes.

5. Stir in the tomatoes and spinach; cook until the spinach is wilted and the soup is warmed through.

Comments: Maria says this is to die for soup and I couldn’t agree more! I made this when it was a super cool day in SoCal and it really hit the spot. I also added some red pepper flakes to give it a kick. I had my friends try it and they are in love!

Rating: 10/10

Total times I swore: 3


Lemon Chicken Salad

Serves 2



2 boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

2 Tablespoons diced red onion

2 Tablespoons dried parsley

Salt and black pepper


1. Place the chicken in a medium saucepan and cover with water by at least 1 inch; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

2. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

3. Remove the chicken from the liquid and dice or shred.

4. In a medium serving bowl, whisk the oil and lemon juice. Fold in the chicken, celery, red bell pepper, onion and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Comments: It’s a very light and healthy dish, although I must admit that it tasted too much like lemon. I don’t know if I added too much lemon juice or what happened but I had to add a teaspoon of sugar to balance it out.

Rating: 9/10

Total times I swore: 2.


Lemon Summer Squash Bow Tie Pasta

Serves 3 to 4



1/2 pound bow tie or penne pasta (regular, whole grain or gluten-free)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 medium or 4 small zucchini or yellow squash, shredded

3 cloves garlic, minced

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and black pepper

3 Tablespoons prepared or homemade basil pesto or chopped fresh parsley

Grated parmesan cheese, as desired


1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

2. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, garlic and lemon zest; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a large bowl, blend the pesto and reserved cooking water. Add the drained pasta and zucchini; toss to combine. Garnish the servings with cheese.

Comments: This is probably my favorite pasta dish I made out of all of the ones Maria has in her book. The lemon zest really gives this dish a kick. I used fresh parsley and yellow squash as my choices. It’s super yummy and makes a great dinner!

Rating: 10/10

Total times I swore: 2


Green Power Smoothie

Serves 1



1 frozen banana

1 cup packed spinach or kale leaves

1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup ice chips


1. In a blender or food processor, process the banana, spinach or kale leaves, juice, applesauce, yogurt and ice chips until blended.

2. Add additional ice chips to achieve the desired consistency.

Comments: As I stated in a previous post, this makes a great post workout smoothie and it very delicious! It gives me a ton of energy and is my go to smoothie these days. I use spinach instead of kale, kale is not my thing!

Rating: 10/10

Total times I swore: 0


Everyone Loves Pasta Pesto with August Tomatoes

Serves 4 to 6



1 pound pasta of your choice

5 cups packed fresh basil

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts

3 gloves garlic, smashed

Salt and black pepper

2 large tomates, chopped


1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, saving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. In a blender, combine the basil, oil, cheese, nuts, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Puree unitl blended and of the desired consistency.

3. In a large bowl, toss the pasta, reserved cooking water and about 1 cup of the pesto. Toss in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Comments: This is a great dish but as you can see from the above photo, I added way too much pesto! Go light on the pesto.

Rating: 9/10

Total times I swore: 1


Best Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf



8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan.

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch load pan.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt until combined.

3. In a large bowl (using an electric mixer, if desired), beat the butter and sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then the mashed bananas, leaving some chunky banana pieces.

4. Fold in the flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the walnuts.

5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out with a few moist crumbs.

6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the bread in the pan; carefully remove from the pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Comments: This banana bread really is the “best” as Maria said, it’s very moist even my friends loved it! I think I may be the only person in the world who hates having nuts in bread, so I left them out. Another tip: the more ripe the bananas, the better tasting it will be.

Rating: 10/10

Total times I swore: 0


Summertime Watermelon-Feta Salad

Serves 4



1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice

3 cups cubed seedless watermelon

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 cups (about 2 1/2 ounces) shredded spinach leaves

1/2 cup sliced fresh basil


1. In a serving bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar until blended.

2. Add the watermelon, feta cheese, spinach and basil; gently toss to combine.

Comments: It’s a very light tasting salad that is perfect on a hot day! Very healthy and tasty.

Rating: 10/10

Total times I swore: 0


Spicy Avocado Toasts

Serves 1



Half of a small avocado


Lemon juice or spicy mustard


1. Mash half of a small avocado and spread on whole grain or gluten-free toast.

2. Top with sliced jalapeño and a squeeze of lemon juice or spicy mustard.

Comments: This really revs up your metabolism with all of the spice! I love spice so this is the perfect snack for me, I usually have it after a workout.

Rating: 10/10

Total times I swore: 0


Photo Credit: Cooking Light