Ja cię kocham…

….simple, healthy, and with lots of love.

Taking the Time to say I Love You.

April 22, 2010 By: kristi Category: Food for Thought

The ladies of the family celebrating Mom’s birthday in 2007 – Mom, me, Mom-Mom, and Emmy

Writing this I realize that it has been close to two months since I have posted anything on Ja Cie Kocham.  The past two months have been filled with tremendous joys and utter sadness, both of which have kept me from taking the time to cook meals worth blogging about.  Exactly one week ago, our family suffered a tremendous loss that will take a lifetime to overcome.  My unbelievably sweet and loving Mom-Mom passed away unexpectedly.

Mom-Mom was the ultimate peacemaker and matriarch.  She was always calling (and I emphasize ALWAYS) to make sure we were all tucked in safely, always making sure that we were happy and healthy, and always ready to offer invaluable words of wisdom and encouragement.

I miss you so much already, Mom-Mom.

Me and Mom-Mom bustin’ a move at my wedding in 2006.  We seriously had a crowd of people surrounding us cheering us on.

She and I always laughed at the fact that I am a “mini-Mom-Mom” worrying about everyone else, dancing around the house for no reason, and being ornery as sin.  I still have an answering machine  message that Mom-Mom left me telling me how to curse in Polish.  (She only told me because I asked.  Hehe.)  See??  We’re both ornery!  (Sorry, Mom!!)

My beautiful sister and soon-to-be-wifey (soon-to-be meaning in a week!), is posting all of Mom-Mom’s favorite recipes.  Since I was a little girl, I helped Mom-Mom make her famous Mashed Potatoes and Filling.  I treasure the memories that she and I share and cannot wait to pass these recipes along to my children (that have yet to conceive… and apparently Mom-Mom was antsy in her pantsy for me to birth her great-grandchildren).

Mom-Mom all decked out in her princess gear for her birthday last year.  Awwww… you are so beautiful!

I love you so much, Mom-Mom, and cannot wait until we meet again.

Our Perfect Anniversary Menu – A healthy meal for a special occasion

June 20, 2009 By: kristi Category: Food for Thought

Our 3 year wedding anniversary is coming up this week, and we like to not only celebrate on our anniversary but also on the weekend.  It makes it fun to celebrate twice!  We both decided that we wanted a romantic dinner, but we also wanted something healthy.  Each and every component of this menu is completely healthy.  Thanks to the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook, we had ourselves a hearty and healthy meal.

To tease you a bit, I decided to post pictures of our dinner with recipes to come in the next day or so.  Since there are so many recipes to include, it will take me a little time to post, but I was so excited to share this with you that I wanted to give you a little taste.

I love you, Jason!  Happy (Early) Anniversary!

Sneak peak of what’s to come:

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Roasted Eggplant Dip with Herb Rubbed Pita Chips



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Pumpkin & Pear Soup



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Moroccan Chicken with Lentils



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Marinated Zucchini with Mint

Clean Pad Thai

March 09, 2009 By: kristi Category: Food for Thought, Main Dish, Pasta, Vegetarian


Clean?  What is clean food?

Eating clean simply means eating fresh, whole foods in their natural state.   The food is minimally processed and does not contain any additives or preservatives.   Fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grains and legumes are all a part of eating clean.


I purchased an incredible cookbook: The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Dr. Lisa Hark, PhD, RD.  It is FILLED with wonderful clean versions of our favorite dishes.  If you’re looking for a way to eat without feeling deprived or famished, I suggest you look at this cookbook.  All of the meals are beautifully presented, flavorful, natural and filling.  Nothing frustrates me more than feeling starved after a meal.  This isn’t the case here!

Jay and I have a thing for ethnic food – African, Thai, Middle Eastern, you name it!  The only problem is that going out all the time gets expensive, and I would much rather make my own meals so I know what is in them.

Dr. Hark included a Pad Thai recipe that looked very light and figure-friendly.  We LOVE pad thai so I wanted to give this a try.  After making the sauce, I was initially put-off because it didn’t taste super delicious.  I felt the sauce had too much concentrated tomato flavor that overpowered it.   But I was determined to make it work since I had done all the legwork for it already.  And you know what?  It turned out pretty good!  I used about a 1/3 of the sauce that the recipe calls for, which I think was a smart move.  Personally, I have never tasted pad thai like this before, but I know what I have eaten in the past was very bad for me.

I enjoyed this meal.  I wouldn’t give myself a high-five or anything… I would give it a 3 out of 5, but next time I will use less tomato paste and I think that will do the trick!

Clean Pad Thai

Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook, p. 266

Serves 8


8 oz. rice noodles, flat
1 Tbs. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, passed through garlic press
2 cups shredded savoy cabbage
2 thick carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
5 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish


3 Tbs. rice wine vinegar or rice vinegar
2-3 Tbs. tomato paste (original recipe calls for 1/4 cup)
2 Tbs. reserved noodle water
2 Tbs. unsulfured molasses
2 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce


Cover rice noodles with boiling water in a ceramic bowl.  Read directions on container to determine length of time.

Drain, reserving 2 Tbs. of noodle water

In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Stir in garlic, cabbage, and carrot.  Stir-fry for 5 minutes.

Make a well in the middle of the pan and scramble the egg whites.

Add noodles and sauce and cook for 5 minutes.

Add bean sprouts, zucchini and green onions and cook to heat through.

Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

Snow Day Breakfast of Champions…

March 02, 2009 By: kristi Category: Breakfast, Food for Thought


Brrrr!  This time last week I was in sunny, warm Ft. Lauderdale getting ready to sail to The Bahamas and now I’m snowed in.  Believe it or not, it was 60+ degrees HERE on Friday.  By Monday we have several inches of snow at our feet.

This post is just to share with you how much I love having breakfast with my husband.  We relish the days we have time to sit in the morning, sipping coffee and enjoying each other.  Typically Jay is rushing off to work while I’m up to my ears in textbooks, work, and laundry so today was a special treat for us.  Weekends are great for these type of breakfasts.  (Today we didn’t eat until 11 or so…)


On the Menu:

Veggie Omelet with Feta and Salsa Verde
Soy Yogurt topped with fresh fruit and granola or ground flax seeds
Whole Wheat toast with yogurt butter
Gevalia coffee
Water with fresh lemon
Skim Milk
(because it’s not breakfast for Jay without his milk!)

The omelet was a GREAT way for me to use up even more of my peppers.  I just sauteed them for a few minutes with some chopped leeks before adding the eggs.  I like to use 1 whole egg per 3 egg whites.  A pinch of sea salt and that fantastic chipotle chile pepper and breakfast was served!

Help Fight Child Starvation!

February 21, 2009 By: kristi Category: Food for Thought

For those of you that know me personally, you understand that I’m going to grad school for Global/International/Peace Education.  I yearn to help children in developing nations that do not have the same rights and privileges that many of us take for granted.  I came across this website Blogger Aid through another food blog and was absolutely moved by its mission.  Blogger Aid is a group of bloggers that are uniting to help fight world hunger.  The program used by Blogger Aid targets a particular mission of the World Food Programme, which is affiliated with the United Nations.  A cookbook created by bloggers is being produced to raise money and awareness of world hunger.  People are also welcome to host events and volunteer in any way that they can.  It’s a noble cause that I am proud to now be a part of.  You need to check it out.  You don’t have to be a member of Blogger Aid to participate.  The deadline for cookbook submissions is March 31.

Super foods to the rescue!!

February 02, 2009 By: kristi Category: Food for Thought

Image courtesy of N.V. Perricone M.D., LLC

I confess.  I am a health-food junkie.  If an article or book says “super food” or “best foods for you”, I’m all over it like a child on candy.  For some odd reason, I get extra satisfaction knowing that the food that I am preparing and consuming has health benefits that will allow me to live a fuller, more vibrant life.  You can just call me a dork.  Most of my friends do ;o)

My Recipes is a fantastic website that not only gives you a list of what are now known as “super foods”, they also give you several recipes per food.  Amazing, I tell you!  I also like that there are reviews for each recipe, and that they’re quite accurate.  I’ve tried two-star (out of five) recipes thinking that all the comments HAD to be wrong…yeah, no.  They were right.  Luckily and conveniently, most people will just post what’s missing in the recipe so you can adapt it prior to figuring out how “blah” it really is.  Blah meals are the worst! :o ) You need to check it out, friends.