Category Archives: Quick

Chicago Dogs at Home…in Texas


Need a Quick, Easy, and Under 300 Calories Labor Day Grill Plan? (It’s under 300 calories IF you use an Orowheat Sandwich Thin rather than the buns in the picture) 🙂

Prep: 2 min

Cook Time: 5-8 min

Serves: 1


  • 2 Applegate Farms Hot Dogs You can use regular or organic, these are the ONLY hotdogs I’ll eat, they are free of fillers, nitrates and preservatives and they are delicious and low fat!
  • 2 Buns of your choice, or Orowheat  whole wheat sandwich thin split in 2.
  • 2-4 Sport peppers
  • 4 Tomato slices, I like Heirloom or green ones if available.
  • Yellow or spicy mustard
  • 2 pinches of 2 % cheese (about a TBS).
  • 1/4 tsp. Celery salt
  • 1 Claussen spear, split in half long ways.

Instructions: (It’s simple)

  1. Cook dogs on skillet or grill, turning so you get a nice brown dog.
  2. Assemble : Bun, Mustard, Cheese, Dog, Peps, Tomato, Pickle Spear, then sprinkle with celery salt! Yes, you can top with mustard as well if you want double mustard.
  3. Enjoy with a cold beer 🙂

Shrimp and Veggies


This is a quick and healthy dinner that’s satisfying and tasty!

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 30 Min (3o min if you make potatoes, 10 without).

Serves: 2-3 (May have some left over for a small lunch).


  • 16 Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Squash, sliced and quartered, thick chunks
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced and quartered, thick chunks
  • 1/2 C. Baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • .5 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Fine herbs
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning blend, I make my own but you can use Zatarran’s or something similar, look for one that doesn’t have MSG.
  • Pinch of pepper


  1. Cut produce
  2. Peel shrimp, rinse, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large skillet, add garlic and sauté until fragrant, add shrimp, cook for 2 min on each side until golden. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  4. Cook veggies in other TBS of olive oil for about 7 min and add seasonings and stir to coat all the veggies, mix in shrimp for about a min and mix well.
  5. Serve with potatoes or your choice of side.

My Favorite Delicious and Healthy Low Calorie Lunch, it’s packed with protein!


This recipe is only 310 calories (210 if you omit the crackers) and 30 grams of protein (great for after a workout)! I eat this on a regular basis and love it! The carrots and pickles give it a nice crunch, especially if you are omitting the crackers.

Prep: 3-5 min

Cook: NONE

Serves: 1


  • 1 Can of low sodium chunk light albacore tuna in water, I like Bumble Bee brand
  • 1 Handful of carrot sticks, chopped
  • 2 Clausen pickle spears, chopped
  • 1 Small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 TBS Kraft light mayo, made with olive oil
  • 1 TBS spicy mustard
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
Mix together and serve with crackers of your choice! Enjoy 🙂

Wondering where ZestyBeanDog has been??? I was too… so here’s the answer!


From Ovaries, Ostrich Eggs, and Pickled Quail Eggs to

Absinthe, Oysters, and … Working out A LOT

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a huge slacker when it comes to the ZBD Blog… I can honestly say this is the only place I have been slacking! I’ve been busy, really busy in fact… Eating, drinking (not just fancy martini’s and beer but also a ton of hibiscus tea and H2O), cooking, butchering, cleaning, playing, working out/yoga and oh yeah… working a $!#@ LOAD! I also had surgery to remove and ovarian cyst (all is well now)! I decided that I wanted to take a break from recipes since I’ve been religiously blogging for a year on recipes and the occasional restaurant review and show you a quick snippet of me and what my life consists of before I get back into the recipe writing… Some days are more interesting than others but over all Evan and I like to keep things pretty fun! Cheers!

In no real particular order here are some snippets of what I’ve been up to!

Evan’s 27th Birthday we had a surprise party for him, one of his gifts was an ostrich egg… Thanks Kyle Bass 🙂

Snagged these pickled quail eggs on the way back from the beach… they are good, great in salads, on crackers, even in tuna salad… in case you were ever wondering.


Halibut: Perla’s

Shell’s and Cheese : Perla’s
Oysters from 6 different regions: Perla’s

Mussels and Sausage : Perla’s

A Fried Egg Sandwich : Bigger than your head (Evan and Dave ordered this…) : Max’s Wine Dive

I have no idea where we had this??? Or what it was… 🙂


My FAVORITE drink, the LDM: Legendary Driskill Martini : The Driskill

Absinthe : Peche

Evan and Hannah: After Absinthe @ Peche

Evan the Wino : Max’s Wine Dive (Remind me NEVER drink/try this much wine again, or at least not for a while!)


Bimimbap with Bulgogi : The Makings

The End Result: YUM

KimChi Fries : Inspiration= Recent trip to Korea and recent trip to a bar down town that happen’s to be by Chilantro

Veal Marsala:Humanely Raised Of Course

Shrimp and Squash with Purple Potatoes

Because I’m Sure You Don’t Want to See the Real


The size of the ovarian cyst I had removed July 8th



My friend Kyle loves to bring us random animals and foods as you can see… Kyle owed me a rental deposit from our old apartment we used to live in… He raised 2 boars on the farm this summer and showed up at my door with this in exchange, now it’s in the freezer. Who’s in the mood for some pork, I got a ton!?

When I’m not doing all of these other things sometime’s

I organize my life, or spices!

My Spice Cabinet Remodel : Thank You Target and Label Maker

What Do You Do When You are Down Town and Early

for Your Brunch Reservation… Go to the Capitol

Our old friend Dave in town from Cali.

For the end of this post, I’ll share my

nightly entertainment (yes, every night) from my

husband and dog… 🙂

When it’s too hot for Ginger to go play at the park with the other doggies, Evan becomes that dog 🙂 Ginger waits for this all day…

This is what I’ve been up to, it’s random… I know!  I look forward to posting recipes for your viewing and hopefully cooking pleasure now! In a month a start yoga teacher training for the next 9 months, so you may be in for some random yoga posts 🙂 Cheers to YOU, my followers, if I didn’t have you all well… I probably wouldn’t be sitting here typing on the ZestyBeanDog Blog! I’ve had almost 10,000 visits in a year and have almost 50 subscribers, thanks for all the love!


Simple Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy


This is a simple and tasty meal you can make in a flash with minimal ingredients!

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 35-45  min


  • 2 Thick pork chops
  • 2 Large russet potatoes, leave skin on if desired
  • 1-2 TBS of butter
  • 2 TBS Whole wheat flour
  • 8oz Beef broth
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2-4 oz 2 % Milk
  • .5 C. Milk
  • BBQ sauce, your choice of brand or make your own
  • 1 TBS Olive oil


  1. Cut up potatoes into inch chunks and boil until tender
  2. Season chops with salt and pepper and pan sear in medium skillet with olive oil for 3 min each side. Slather bbq sauce on chops.
  3. Bake chops in oven at 375 degrees for 20 min until done
  4. While chops are baking start gravy, melt butter in a skillet on medium, add flour slowly until you make a roux like substance. Add beef broth slowly while mixing roux like mixture, add 1-2 TBS of milk and stir, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When potatoes are done, mash and add milk and salt to proper consistency.
  6. Check chops for doneness and serve with potatoes and any green of your choice.
Enjoy, Cheers!

Simple Favorite That Will Knock Your Socks Off! Grilled Cheese with Black Truffle Salt



Prep Time: 3 Min
Cook Time: 5 min
Serves: 1

-Butter, 1 tsp
-2 slices of bread, I like whole wheat
-2 Slices of provolone cheese
-1 Pinch of black truffle salt

1. Butter bread on one side of each slice of bread
2. Place cheese slices in-between bread
3. Cook for about 2.5 min on medium high on each side until browned
4. Sprinkle truffle salt on top, not too much!!!

Don’t know where to get black truffle salt??? Try Savory Spice Shop or Marx Foods! it’s expensive, but you only need a PINCH!


Fresh Pasta with Italian Sausage, Fennel, Porcini Mushrooms and Romano Cheese


The subtle sweetness from the fennel really shines through in this dish giving it a complex flavor profile you will love!  It’s a super easy dish that is sure to please 🙂

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Serves: 2-3


  • 1 lb Fresh italian sausage, ground
  • 1/4 C. Fennel bulb, diced
  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • 1/2 C. Porcini mushrooms
  • 1 Package Buitoni linguine (or you can make your own).
  • 1/4 C. Freshly grated romano cheese.
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper
  • OPTIONAL : 1/2 C light sour cream if you want a creamier feel
  1. Chop produce (Fennel and Shallot) leave mushrooms whole and if they are dry, rehydrate them by following the instructions on the package.
  2. Heat large skillet to medium high and bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Cook sausage in large skillet with the fennel, mushrooms, and shallots until sausage is cooked thoroughly.  Turn off burner.  This is where you would add sour cream if you decide to do so- it’s good both ways…
  4. Add fresh pasta to boiling water for designated time of package (if it’s fresh its should be around 3 min).
  5. Once pasta is done, drain and toss in tsp of olive oil then add to the sausage mixture and toss throughly until all is mixed well.
  6. Serve onto plates and top with Romano cheese!  You can serve with a green and bread if desired.


Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa


You’re going to love this quick and healthy meal!  Great for a weeknight or weekend!

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 8-10 min

Serves: 4


  • 4  4-6 oz Mahi Mahi filets (Wild)
  • 1 Mango, diced
  • 1/2 Red onion, diced finely
  • 1 Handful of cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1/2 Poblano pepper, diced finely
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced (save other 1/2 for fish).
  • Pinch of red pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients except the fish and olive oil and mix well.
  2. Heat large skillet on medium high with olive oil, squeeze remaining half of lemon juice on filets and salt and pepper and place meat side down skin side up and cook for 4 min or so.  Flip and cook for 3-4 more minutes or until done.  Fish should have a nice sear on top.
  3. Spoon salsa evenly on all filets.
  4. Serve with your choice of veggies/sides.  I chose mashed sweet potatoes and a field green and watercress salad with baby bellas, blackberries, and cashews.  For the salad I made a simple dressing of red wine vinegar, a dash of oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar.

Mahimahi on FoodistaMahimahi

Did You Know That Hunger Is Problem All Around Central Texas?


Here’s a little change of pace from my typical recipe post, don’t worry there is still a easy, healthy, and affordable recipe at the end 🙂 I’d like to share something I’m involved with right now.

I recently was accepted into the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance, a tight knit group that’s mission is to work together with our peers to set a standard of transparency and fairness in food blogging. We will also support each other and our community through classes, social events, and philanthropy.  With that being said I’m not only super excited to be a part of this group but eager to tell you about our first philanthropy project with the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.  We were asked to blog, share our thoughts, and write about the face of hunger so here it goes.

If you haven’t heard of SNAP it’s the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-AKA “food stamps”.  The minimum one can receive is $16 per month and the average household in need receives around $275.  Some obvious disadvantages: I found it to be very unfair that if you are a convicted felon for a drug offense after 1996 you are completely ineligible for ANY benefits but you could be a convicted rapist or child molester and still qualify for benefits… Hmmm something is not quite right about that.  Also if you live in Texas be prepared to encounter the daunting task of filling out a short novel just to see if you may qualify (oh and if you don’t, don’t expect to hear back from them).  Not only is the paperwork ridiculously time consuming but I bet that there are some that are eligible for benefits (but are not applying) due to the pain of applying or not knowing how to properly apply.  I went online and started filling out the paperwork to see what it consisted of, 6 min later and I  had given up…

An Interesting Fact: Did you know that 248,544 are income eligible, but don’t receive (they aren’t applying) SNAP thus reducing economic activity… Central Texas misses out on $630,000,000 through lost economic activity.

Naturally, as gas and food prices rise more and more individuals and families are effected.


I interviewed a former SNAP client to get some uncensored opinions and asked these 5 questions:

1.  Q: Did the long process of applying dissuade you from ever applying or renewing your application?  A: “Yes, all the paperwork was a pain. ”

2. Q: Did it help you and your family enough to make a difference? A: “It did help out a lot, what sucked is I had to lie & say I was seperated so I can get anything at all… then I find out theres couples or singles w/out kids, but no jobs who got a lot more than I did w/3 kids. =/”

3.Q: Have you ever been embarrassed or felt you were judged at the store when checking out? A: “Wasn’t too much embarrassed but did feel judged about it.”

4. Q: Was it easy for you to get help when needed? A: “Not really, too much paperwork & waiting. A lot of the info they ask for doesn’t seem necessary to me. Like I said I know people who are single w/no kids who don’t have a job & that qualifies them for emergency foodstamps. crazy huh.”

5. Q: Did you ever sacrifice feeding yourself or your family to pay another bill like rent or electricity?  A: “Yes we have had to sacrifice the feeding for bills… we would eat though…. go over to a family members house or something.”

This is a real problem, if you know someone that is in need of these benefits, let them know about the CAFB and SNAP!  If you don’t, you can make a DONATION or VOLUNTEER at your local food bank, any little bit helps!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe high in protein and nutrients that will make your dollar stretch and leave you satisfied!

Zesty Tuna Salad on Crackers or Bread

Serves: 4 for sandwiches, or several for snacks with crackers, can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Prep Time: 5-10 min


  • 12 oz can of Tuna in water or oil, the large can(I used the tuna in water).
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS plain greek yogurt or mayo
  • 1 TBS mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zest
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Drain tuna and empty contents into a medium bowl.
  • Chop produce and empty into bowl.
  • Add yogurt or mayo, lemon juice/zest, and mustard and stir mixture until mixed throughly.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Enjoy on bread or crackers!


  • About 48,000 different people receive emergency food assistance from CAFB in any given week.
  • CAFB serves nearly 300,000 people each year.
  • 41 percent of CAFB clients are children.
  • 95 percent of CAFB partner agencies say they could no longer serve their clients if the Food Bank shut down tomorrow.
  • More than a third of CAFB’s older clients go for extended periods without food.
  • 1 in 5 families served by CAFB experience the physical pain of hunger.
  • Almost half of CAFB clients have at least one working adult at home.
  • Almost half of the families CAFB serves have to choose between buying food and paying utilities.
  • 82 percent of CAFB clients are not homeless.

Source:  Hunger in America 2010: Central Texas Report

According to Feeding America’s preliminary data, 442,263 (17.8%) Central Texans are estimated to be food insecure.

Ahi Tuna Club Sandwich with Zesty Aioli


Check out this EASY and healthy twist on a BLT!

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 4-6 min

Serves: 2


  • 4 slices of whole grain or wheat bread, toasted
  • .5 lb Ahi Tuna Steak (Sashimi grade).
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tomato, sliced- I used a roma
  • 4 slices of Applegate Farms uncured turkey bacon, cooked (this is important to use a quality brand)!
  • 2 Handfuls of of fresh spinach
  • 1/4 C olive oil mayo
  • 1/2 TBS spicy mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper for aioli
  • Pinch of chervil, dried- or parsley, dried
  • Mix all together to make your aioli


  1. Heat a medium skillet on medium high, add 1 tsp of olive oil and once hot add tuna steak to skillet.  Cook for 2-3 min on each side, should be pink in the middle.  You can make the Aioli while cooking the tuna.
  2. Toast bread slices while slicing tuna AGAINST the grain carefully, about a centimeter thick if possible.
  3. Assemble sandwich, aioli on top slice.  Bottom slice: spinach, tuna, bacon, tomatoes, then top slice that has aioli.
Enjoy!  Serve with some veggies or baked chips!