Endamame and Mandarin Salad with Refreshing Asian Mint Dressing


I say screw winter, I am having a salad despite the freezing temperatures outside and the idea of a warm steaming bowl of soup beckoning me on days like this. I want something chalked full of rich raw nutrients, regardless of what the weatherman says, yeah that’s right I refuse to let the winter hold me down. Continue reading


Winter Salad + Creamy Lemon Maple Mustard Dressing



I am so excited about so many things to share with you all in this post that I could easily just start spewing them all out in list form- number one has to be these pictures since I just got my photo studio box in the mail the other day. It’s this cute little tent-like box that pops up with interchangeable backgrounds and two super bright lights plus a tripod. It is truly amazing! It makes every picture look so fabulously professional – at least in the eyes of this amateur. To add to this list of exciting things is the black radish I found at the market recently that I just had to try out. Oh but wait it doesn’t stop there – chestnuts, winter veggies, holiday flavors – all in one healthy feel good salad! Woo, now that is some exciting stuff, at least in my world it is :)!

Continue reading

Caribbean “Crab” Salad

crab salad

It was a long weekend here it Italy with Memorial Day on Friday, and with long weekends it usually means a lot of eating, meeting up with people for drinks, dinner and any other imaginable thing you can shove in your mouth. So to keep the momentum of things going I decided to weight myself this morning. . . not a good idea! Right, so that means back to salads and smoothies, lol!

Nevertheless, I hope you all had a great Halloween and didn’t indulge in too much candy to then hear that annoying little voice barking at your thighs and love handles to make wretch with feelings of guilt. But hey, sometimes we should just be able to indulge without feeling guilty and just enjoy it and realize that it is all part of being human; no one is perfect and besides what would life be without imperfections. Imperfection is what makes things interesting, it is what makes up grow, search for better and strive to constantly improve ourselves. So once in awhile I believe that we should indulge, guilt free and enjoy every morsel – those are some of the most beautiful moments in life, when you can just take it in, the tastes, the smells and the wonderful company you are in, instead of doing the usual routine most of us do of thinking about how many calories we just consumed, where all that fat is going, not meeting our goals, and just general self-defeating jibber jabber. Continue reading

My Return to the Bella Vita + A Beautiful Fall Salad: Sesame Crusted Chickpea & Pomegranate Salad with Pomegranate Pistachio Mint Dressing



I am finally back in my own house and best of all in my own kitchen, with all my lovely spices and fun kitchen toys to play with. What’s even more exciting is that I can now play with the cadillac of all kitchen toys, my new Vitamix! So of course I had to incorporate the use of this bad boy in my first recipe post after my little stateside hiatus. 

I am happy to be back and even more thrilled than ever to start cooking again! I had a good time back home but I realize that despite my complaining and belly aching about Italy, this is where I want to be. I realize I am happiest here and that this is the place that allows me to live in the most positive environment possible. I feel like a cloud has been lifted and I can now get back into the swing of things, doing the things and seeing the people that I love so much. Continue reading

Braised Chinese Cabbage + Veggie Salad and Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing


Wow that is a mouthful . . . and in every sense! I didn’t make it in time to sign up for Vegan MoFo but I am so pumped about it and want to try to post as many times as possible a week. So here goes post number 2 this week!

I have been wanting to make this dressing for a while now, but I can’t say I was feeling too saladspired before. But now that things are looking up and I am feeling good (finally!) I couldn’t wait to try this out. Continue reading

Farmer’s Market Potato Salad



Summer finally feels like it is in full swing here in Italy. It took awhile to get here and we had some ups and downs, but I guess it has decided to show up and act like a real summer fling should, hot and ephemeral in its delivery, but good while they last.

And what feels more like summer than a BBQ and all the staple sides that go with it?! And potato salad is at the top of the list for bbq sides in my book. I used to love seeing my dad out in the backyard barbecuing up some burgers, boiling some fresh picked sweet corn and the then dreaded potato salad. The burgers of my childhood have been replaced with friendlier ones that I don’t need to grill the be jesus out of to make sure they are dead and the store bought potato salad has been swapped out with this healthier version, that certainly has less than a thousand calories and cholesterol to match as the old version did. 

Continue reading

Pasta Night: Avocado & Pistachio Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes & A Fresh Summer Salad with Warm Sesame Infused Asparagus, Orange Slices and Sweet Onion


Yes, I realize that this is the second post today with avocados and that I may be going a little overboard with the avocado bonanaza in ‘casa Sirotti’ as of late. I have a confession to make . . . I even had it for breakfast, lunch AND dinner today! I know, avocados are good for you, right, but just as it goes with anything, too much of a good thing can turn sour real quick. .  so watch for the pucker face :). So despite my own nutritional transgressions, this recipe is good and healthy – it’s raw, chalked full of nutrition and just plain ol’ pasta inducing carb coma good. The pasta sauce is a creamy blend of avocado, sun-dried tomates, pistachios, nutritional yeast (optional) and garlic.

Continue reading