Lemon-Cilantro Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Lemon and cilantro is a perfect combination in my opinion – whether you want to use it on rice, spaghetti or zoodles. Next time you feel like it – make this Lemon-Cilantro Shrimp Pasta. Serve on spaghetti or zucchini noodles.

lemon-cilantro shrimp pasta Continue Reading

One Pot Pasta with Shrimp Recipe

Hey guys! It’s party time here at Lean Lena’s!

So after all that holiday cooking and over-the-stove-slaving I didn’t feel like cooking at all last night.

We still had leftover salmon and mashed potatoes and we almost settled for that as our dinner.

And then my consciousness spoke to me, I lifted my butt off the couch and went to the kitchen. ๐Ÿ™‚

But before I did that, I did some Pinterest searching for a nice and easy recipe that I could use/adopt based on what I had in the fridge. I searched for one pot pasta recipes with shrimp (because I had never tried making a one pot pasta before and I had a pack of shrimp in the freezer). I found this awesome recipe for One-Pan Coconut Shrimp Noodle Bowls by Bev Cooks. I didn’t have all the ingredients the original recipe was calling for, so I made my own with what I had on hand. I present to you my twist on Bev’s recipe:

Coconut Shrimp One Pot Pasta

one pot pasta Continue Reading

Mezzetta Memories: Salami Pasta Salad Recipe

Hey guys! Happy Tasty Tuesday to you ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, I’m cooking with Mezzettaย as part of the Mezzetta Memories campaign.

mezetta memories

With another bigย holiday upon us, it’s time to start thinking about the holiday menu already!

Together with Mezzettaย I’m sharing my family traditions when it comes to holiday cooking.Continue Reading

A Week in Food – Award Ceremony

Good morning, World! How is it turning today? ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet it feels like it’s turning faster, because it’s Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you had breakfast yet? No? Well, I’m just about to make you hungry!

I’m talking food here today (again) – highlights of the past week and awards in 5 Categories! Ready?

SoBreakfast/Snack” category winner is…..


Granola and Yogurt

I usually make my own granola. This time I couldn’t resist this yummy looking all organic granola I found at TJ Maxx, so I bought it and enjoyed it ever since.

“From Hubs With Loves” Category winner is….


Steak Sandwich

Just that – steak, provolone and lettuce on whole wheat bread – the sandwich hubby made me last Friday and left in the fridge with a note for me. Isn’t he the sweetest? ๐Ÿ™‚

“Eating Out” category winner is…

chicken pho

Chicken Pho Soup from Issei Noodle

This is one of our most favorite places to eat in town – always quick, fresh, cheap and super delicious! And that place just got even better – they now serve Thai tea with bubbles!!!!

Thai tea

Mmmmm…I love me some bubble tea!

“Lazy Wife” category winner is…


Store-bought chicken tortellini with mushrooms

Our go-to meal when the wife is feeling to lazy to cook anything more complicated ๐Ÿ™‚ What? I added veggies! ๐Ÿ™‚

Do share: what’s cooking today?

Have a great weekend, guys!

Lean Lena

Tasty Tuesday: 10-minute Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

Hey guys! Happy Tasty Tuesday to you!

It’s time to party and share your tasty finds, tasty posts and recipes. Join the link up party below, which will also appear on my co-host’s blog – Fairytales and Fitness.

I am super-excited because last Tuesday we had the record number of 25 partiers! Thank you so much, guys! I love each and every one of your recipes and blogs!

Tasty Tuesday 2000x2000

Today I am sharing with you one of my go-to sides/lunch salad recipes – Chicken Pasta Salad.

Well, first of all, you can throw pretty much anything into a pasta salad as long as you don’t forget to throw in the pasta ๐Ÿ™‚

I love making pasta salads because they take care of any leftovers I have in the fridge! Pasta salads are also super delicious. Win-win!

Once again, this is a recipe that doesn’t really call for any quantities – just throw in as much as you have of whatever you have, and don’t forget pastaย ๐Ÿ™‚

chicken pasta salad


  • Pasta (I used Barilla Whole Grain Rotini Pasta, about half a pack)
  • Chicken breast (you can use grilled chicken, pan fried, baked or whatever you have and feel like. I used the leftover crockpot chicken).
  • Bell peppers (use different colors to make your salad bright!)
  • Red onions
  • Fresh parsley
  • Capers
  • Any other veggies you have/like

For the dressing:

  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Either fresh or dry basil leaves

pasta salad with chicken


  • Cook pasta according to the package instructions, set aside to cool
  • While pasta is cooking, combine lemon juice, olive oil and spices in a bowl and whisk well until combined, set aside
  • Dice the vegetables and chicken
  • Combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl, pour the dressing over and mix until coated.
  • Serve cold or warm.
  • Add salami or any meat instead of chicken. Experiment!
  • Enjoy your pasta salad for lunch or as a side for dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

pasta salad with chicken

See? Told you it was a 10 minute deal ๐Ÿ™‚

Now do share with me: what tasty things have you discovered/tried lately? Link up below or share in comments, and don’t forget to check out other links in the party and spread the word by sharing this post! Let more people know and come to the party!

Have a great week, guys!


Foods and Moves – Last Week’s Recap

Hello friends! Happy hump day! I hope you’re having a great week so far!ย And while you are, I thought I’d share my last week’s exercise recap with you with some food highlights here and there to (maybe, just maybe) inspire you ๐Ÿ™‚

Here we go!Continue Reading

Tasty Tuesday – Five Dinner Ideas for Five Weeknights

Hey guys! Happy Tasty Tuesday!

Every Tuesday Meranda and I host a link up party for you where you can add your links to tasty posts at the end of my post! How fun is that? Don’t forget to check out other links in the party.

Tasty Tuesday 2000x2000

Let’s party!!!

Today I have my favorite weeknight dinner ideas for you. Weeknights are my weak spot – just like every busy mom’s/wife’s in the world, I guess. Throw in the workout schedule (I am not a morning workout person) and you got no time left for cooking. Not cooking is not an option – we cook meals every night in my family and rarely go out – for no reason other than liking homemade food.

That’s where the meal prep and the easy quick healthy recipes come in! Below are the most frequently cooked type of meals in my family. That’s just in terms of the type of food we like – not all of the recipes below have been tried yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

{ONE}ย Pork Chops Stuffed with Spinach and Feta


I found this recipe in Cooking Light. I am subscribed to the paper magazine, but I found this one online as I was looking for a new way to cook pork chops, which we likeย and make a lot!

I haven’t tried it yet, but according to the recipe they come together pretty quickly. You can also stuff them when you have time and freeze/refrigerate for later.

{TWO} Fried Rice

We eat a lot of rice. I usually buy jasmine rice and we go through a whole pack in a few weeks. The beauty of this recipe is that you can add pretty much anything to it = utilizing those leftovers ๐Ÿ™‚ Got chicken, shrimp, fish, or pork leftover? Got veggies? There – you got yourself an easy and delicious dinner.


This recipe post also has some tips on how to make perfect rice if you’re just cooking it as a side dish.

{THREE} Beef Enchiladas


Super easy to make and you can prep the filling in advance, too and even freeze it.

Here is a great recipe from McCormickย for beef enchiladas, which is pretty close to what we usually do. Not the healthiest option, by they come together quickly and my husband makes them – that’s a good enough reason for me to eat them ๐Ÿ™‚

{FOUR} Pasta


This is my all time favorite. I am a huge fan of pasta and I would eat it every day if I could ๐Ÿ™‚ It is one of many reasons I go to the gym so much ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out some of my pasta recipes!

{FIVE} Scallops


We usually have scallops when kids are gone ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s kind of our secret food between me and my husband. I have no idea why and when it started, but every time we plan meals for the week we plan on having scallops when the kids are not around for dinner ๐Ÿ™‚ I know. We’re horrible people ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re intimidated by cooking scallops – don’t be. They are extremely easy to cook and will only take minutes!

Check out this great article with tips on how to cook scallops perfectly and give them a try! They won’t disappoint you.

And there you have it, my friends – five ideas – one for each weeknight dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy it and don’t forget to link up below to tell us what delicious meals you’ve had lately.

Take care and eat well.


A Hectic Week Recap – Eats and Exercises

Hey guys! Happy Hump Pump Day! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve had a very hectic couple of weeks as you probably noticed by the lack of my “What’s on my plate” Wednesday and Motivation Monday posts this and last week… Well, guess what? I am making it all up to you today by combining the two ๐Ÿ™‚

Not much was going on on the exercise front last week – between the sharp right shoulder/arm pain and busy schedule I managed to squeeze in just a few workouts/classes last week.

{MONDAY} Cycling and Chicken

Cycling class with Jim on Monday

Cycling class with Jim on Monday

I don’t like Mondays most of the time. I am excited about Monday being a new beginning and all, but by the end of the day I am beat. It is usually the busiest day of the week for me – at work, exercising after work, etc. etc.. What do Iย make for dinner when I am busy? That’s right – crockpot anything ๐Ÿ™‚


Last Monday it was chicken! I used to put it in the crockpot in the morning, set on Low and turn it off when I get home at 5 PM. It made the chicken a littleย overcooked to my liking…So what I’ve been doing lately is I would come home for lunch, and throw the chicken into the crock pot (Low) for 4-5 hours. That’s plenty of time to cook it and it comes out just perfectly juicy.

Hubby made wok veggies on Monday night – and we got a perfect dinner right there!

{TUESDAY} No Exercise and Lamb

Took a rest day on Tuesday night.

Foodie’s highlight of the day was lamb for dinner – grilled to perfection by my husband.


and this fruit and veggie platter I had at work for my snack throughout the afternoon:


{WEDNESDAY} Yoga and Pork Chops

I did make it to yoga on Wednesday but didn’t take any pictures so you’ll just have to trust me on that one ๐Ÿ™‚

And then I got home and made rosemary pork chops and a salad for my tired husband.



{THURSDAY} Rest Day and Orange Salsa

Yeah, that was the day my shoulder and arm started acting up. It was that kind of muscle paralyzing pain that makes it hard to lift even a cup of coffee.

That did not prevent me from making an awesome orange salsa to go with tilapiaย and rice for dinnerย on Thursday evening, though ๐Ÿ™‚


{FRIDAY} Another rest day and Beet Root Salad

On Friday my shoulder/arm was hurting so much it would wake me up at night. So…another rest day for the Lena ๐Ÿ™

The food highlights of the day included the beet root salad I made for lunch on Sunday during my meal prep.

Canned beet roots, lettuce, feta, roasted pepitas and purple onions

Canned beet roots, lettuce, feta, roasted pepitas and purple onions

{SATURDAY} Yoga and Big Family Breakfast

By Saturday I felt good enough to go get some gentle stretching done in a yoga class.


Yoga was followed by a breakfast fest made by my husband!


I also had a super-delicious lunch – leftover pasta with scallops from eating out the night before:



{SUNDAY} Food Prep

Well, that decision to go to yoga the day before was a little pre-mature. My shoulder and arm were not ready for any Sunday workout.

They were good for Sunday meal prep, so I went wild ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually started on Saturday with this:

Apple-Cinnamon infused water, sweet potatoes and quinoa

Apple-Cinnamon infused water, sweet potatoes and quinoa

and then continued on Sunday by making lunches and snacks for the week days:


No working out on Sunday either ๐Ÿ™ Some nice kitchen time though ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

And that was my week of eating and non-exercising at a glance ๐Ÿ™‚

Do share: How did you do last week? Anything fun? Anything delicious cooking?

Take care, friends, and stay fit!


What’s on My Plate Wednesday

Hey guys! Happy hump day!!!

Oh, I am so very happy it is Wednesday!

So, how about taking a peak at what I ate in the past week? Yeah, I thought so. But I am posting anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

For some reason I wasn’t feeling like taking a lot of pictures in the mornings this past week.

I can tell you that I ate a lot of oatmeal:


why of course I have cinnamon chips on it!

And breakfast sandwiches with a fried egg, cream cheese and turkey breast on an English muffin:


I ate my wonderful salads for lunch most of the days (those I prepped last weekend):


And then they tore out my kitchen last Tuesday… We live in an old house with horse hair plaster in the walls (yeah I know it is hard to imagine there were “before drywall times” now). When you have plaster in the walls and ceilings, this can happen:

yep, a hole in the ceiling

yep, a hole in the ceiling

So they tore my kitchen ceiling out completely.

like...entirely...as in no ceiling at all

like…entirely…as in no ceiling at all

Gives my kitchen kind of a rustic look, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

Did that effect my cooking schedule? Yeah…all that plaster dust took a while to get rid of, that’s why we had Chinese for dinner on Tuesday.


But once I got all that dust cleaned off, we were back on track with dinners!

Yeah, lots of grilling and crockpot action!

Yeah, lots of grilling and crockpot action!

Lemon-shrimp pasta, crockpot beef with wok veggies, steak and mashed potatoes, crockpot pork and wok veggies, chicken wings.

And, I did do my usual meal prep this Sunday! I did some nice lunch prep (salads with babyย romaine lettuce, avocado, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, quinoa, green onions, goat cheese, chicken breast and hardboiled eggs + a sandwich) ย including snacks (apples, celery, carrots, snack cheese).


And right after that – this happened!


Well…what can I say? “All work and no play” would make Lena a one boring personality – gotta break the rules sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

Eat well, my friends, and have a great week!


Junk Food: 2, Lena: 1

Hey guys!

I finally got to my blog – second time in this busy week, which sucked for the most part ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s see….It’s Friday (YAY!), I am back to PT for an uncertain period of time (boooo), and heading to NYC this weekend to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary!!!

The past week healthy eating was challenged by:

lunch out with my husband on Monday

lunch out with my husband on Monday


Birthday celebration cupcakes at work

Birthday celebration cupcakes at work

Photo source – Catherine’s Cupcakery

movie night at home with my family

movie night at home with my family

Junk/Processed/Not-so-good-for-youย food – 2, Lena – 1.

There were some good/not-so-bad food choices and decisions this week, as well.

Fruit and yogurt for breakfast last Thursday

Fruit and yogurt for breakfast last Thursday


Home made crock pot chili

Home made crock pot chili


Mashed potatoes and chili on top

Home made crock pot split pea soup

Home made crock pot split pea soup

Whole grain orzo salad

Whole grain orzo salad

All in all, it wasn’t the best week food-wise.

On top of that, I pulled myย left calf on Wednesday night, ย went to my scheduled physical therapy session on Thursday and was immediately treated for the new disaster. And that’s right when I was going to start making my way out of PT some time after next week. No such luck. The pulled calf hurt like hell last night, but seems to be a little better today.

What I am most upset about is the rest days I have to take that I was not planning on. This injury once again messes up my entire exercise routine and I can’t ignore it because it hurts to move.

Erm…remind me – isn’t exercise supposed to make you fell better? ๐Ÿ™‚

Anywho, before my fitness life was interrupted by the pulled muscle, I managed to fit some fine exercise in last week:

12 ml ride in Monday's spin class

12 ml ride in Monday’s spin class

Weights and strength training with Jim on Wednesday

Weights and strength training with Jim on Wednesday


Yoga class with Jim on Wednesday

Yoga class with Jim on Wednesday

Blogging news:

Did you guys noticed the new banner? What do you think?

Also, the former “Healthy Recipe” page of the blog is now called “Recipes” (the sole reason for the name change is that what’s healthy for me can be unhealthy for somebody else, so let’s go with the neutral name) and is powered by ReciPage!

I am still in the process of transferring the recipes from one to the other, but very happy with the way the new page looks! I think it is a lot easier to brows recipes now. You can also search by key ingredients, cooking methods and alphabetically.

I hope you like it and I would appreciate any feedback!

I will see you guys next week with the NYC trip recap!

Have a great weekend and stay fit!

What’s on My Plate Wednesday

Happy hump day, my friends!

To me, it’s pretty much Friday, close enough anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been a very hectic week so far (just like the one before) – lots of running around, exercising, PT sessions, etc. etc..

With all this I am honestly struggling with fitting simple things like getting gas and grocery shopping into my schedule….and fail a lot of times ๐Ÿ™‚

You will see the signs of my busy schedule in today’s post – “What’s on My Plate Wednesday” is featuring not as many eats as usual – not because I am a lazy photographer, but because a lot of times I am eating “on the go” – still eating good stuff, though. No fast food for this body ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, here we go – eating highlights from the past week.Continue Reading

Tasty Tuesday – Orzo Salad Recipe with Coconut-Lime Shrimp + A Hell of a Monday

Hey, folks! Happy Tasty Tuesday to you!

Today we’re making an orzo salad with coconut-lime shrimp. Ready?ย Continue Reading

Tasty Tuesday – Spinach Pasta with Shrimp and Creamy Sauce Recipe

Hey, folks! Happy Tasty Tuesday to you!

Today’s issue of the “Tasty Tuesday” is about the spinach pasta with shrimp, the picture of which you all liked so much on my countless social media pages ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you for your support of all my numerous pages and I am more than happy to share my recipes with you.

This is an original recipe born and raised entirely in my head ๐Ÿ™‚ ย So be careful ๐Ÿ™‚Continue Reading

What’s on My Plate Wednesday – Eats of the Past Week

Good morning, my fit and getting fit friends!

I hope you are having a short and sweet work week ๐Ÿ™‚

As usual, I am here today to tell you what I ate this past week – Wednesday to Wednesday ๐Ÿ™‚

So here are the highlights of ย what’s been on my plate lately.Continue Reading

Back to Blogging, Working Out and Eating Better

Hello, my fitness friends!

I am finally back to my blog – after a bad cold, couple days in New York City and celebrating my husband’s birthday.

There is so much to share about the past few days! I just wanted to check in and let you know I am ok, back home safely and will be posting about my trip and hubs’ birthday celebration soon.

For now, I just wanted to share the recipe for the pesto that I promised you in my previous post.Continue Reading