Dessert/ Dinner

Cuban Food Rocks My World

Well I am officially CPR and First Aid certified now! I am SO glad I did this because so much has changed since I last took the course. I mean, obviously, I hope I never have to use the skills I have but as we all know very well, life does not always go according to plan. It is such a wonderful feeling knowing that if I had to, I could save someone’s life.

Midway through the five hour course I snacked on a larabar that I had brought in my purse!


And then right when the class was over I headed straight to Ryan’s parents house to meet the boy, who had just come in from a mega spear fishing excursion, so we could meet everyone at the restaurant for dinner. Ryan and his friend Nino went 30 miles out in the gulf and dove with tanks to shoot us some tasty red snapper, hog fish and grouper. We are bringing the red snapper fillets over to my parent’s house tomorrow night so my mom can whip up something extraordinary for dinner!

As for tonight, we feasted on Cuban food! I ADORE this restaurant on St. Pete Beach, Bella Habana, because they have two for one mojitos and they are the BEST mojitos ever!!! Erin and I split an order and it was delicious—


Since we had so many people we ordered a bunch of tapas to start off. Most contained chorizo so I didn’t have any but I did have one yummy shrimp that had been sauteed in garlic and olive oil. I didn’t really partake in the appetizers because I knew I had a big dinner coming and was happily sipping on my mojito!


I also had a nice sized chunk of bread that I used to smoosh up all the sauce! 🙂

EVERYTHING on the menu is fantastic here….if you are in St. Pete you must stop in for dinner! I love the live music, too. 🙂


I chose the same thing I had last time…..chickpeas!!!


I adore this dish! Its super random but so good. The chickpeas are cooked with crawfish, tomatoes, olive oil and garlic and seriously, the portion is enough to feed a family of eight. Last time I ordered this I brought leftovers home and made four meals out of it. Can’t beat that!

On the side, I ordered my absolute favorite…….plantains and yuca! I heart me some yuca big time. I think my next project is going to be making yuca at home. Can’t be too hard, right?! All they do at Bella Habana is just boil it and then serve it with sauteed onions. For some reason this just screams comfort food to me. I could eat it every single day!

Oh yeah! My meal was also served with a house salad. I got blue cheese dressing on the side and only used a teeny tiny bit.


Of course when I had finished eating it looked like I hadn’t even dug a fork into my meal but I swear I ate about half (plus all my yuca and plantains + one of Ryan’s plantains that I stole in super stealth mode). I was stuffed but saved room for ice cream of course 😉


We love this little beachy dive. I love it because their gelato is freakin’ fabulous and they have every flavor under the sun. Ryan loves it because they have chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Enough said.


I got a sugar cone with tiramisu gelato and it was nothing short of ridiculous. I actually closed my eyes during the last couple bites of cone point and gelato because it was THAT good. The gelato actually had pieces of ladyfinger in it……sooooo good!!!


How could gelato taste so sinful yet be…..healthy?!


Okay, not healthy but not horrible either. Servings range from 110-130 calories but a serving is probably the size of my finger. Oh well. Its still way too good to pass up!

Finally home now and totally ready for bed. Its a little late though and I’m not sure if I have it in me to wake up at the crack of dawn and go to spinning. Tomorrow starts my BIRTHDAY WEEK after all. I’ll definitely exercise at some point but I don’t know if its worth feeling exhausted all day over because I still have some stuff to do before bed tonight and think I’ll probably be up for another hour or so. We shall see!

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  • Help Meghan Run
    June 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Wow! Chickpea dishes like that always look so tasty, but I’ve amazingly never made one of my own. That should change soon! 🙂 And of course, gelato is always yum. Enjoy your rest, and happy birthday week!

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    June 7, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Glad you had such a great day! Definitely need to check that place out. Looks delish!


  • april
    June 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I’ve never had Cuban food but it looks pretty good! That gelato looks sooo good! What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?

    • jenna
      June 7, 2009 at 8:43 pm


      Gelato is a lot lighter and less fattening than ice cream because it usually doesn’t contain eggs….just milk. And not heavy cream either. It has a lot of air whipped into it so its light and fluffy. I adore it!

  • Emily (Healthy Fit Mama)
    June 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I’ve never had Cuban food before. That looks and sounds delicious!

  • polly
    June 7, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    hi lovey! yum, R looks happy with his choc peanut butter treat. Happy early birthday!!!! I am up LATE after the concert… so stoppey by to say hi Jenna! Hugs Hugs Hugs. Stop by and see my sweetie enjoying a little music with Taylor Swift. 😉 I think you are fearless. 🙂 XOXO

  • Amanda
    June 7, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    all that food looks SO good. especially that gelato. i always have room for dessert too 🙂

  • Rebeca
    June 7, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Yuca is sooo easy! I love it… my g-ma made it all the time with platanos and scrambled eggs which is just about the most comforting meal ever to me!

    My mom is a snob and says you can’t get good yuca in the states so she goes for the frozen kind because she says it’s the closest you can get from the fresh stuff in the DR but I imagine you guys have better quality stuff than they do in Buffalo (haha).

    Mmm Cuban, well really any authentic Latin, food makes my heart smile and my stomach growl

    Congrats on your re-cert!

  • Kailey (SnackFace)
    June 7, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Oh I just loved your day! So wonderful! That chickpea dish looks insanely delicious. Chickpea me anytime!

    Aww and the Ryan pic is darling. He’s so happy with his pb choco gelato, and I do not blame him. I’d be lookin’ like that too.

    Have a good night and a great start to the week!

  • Shannon
    June 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Yummy cuban food 🙂 I’ll definitely need to take a little drive over to St. Pete and try their mojitos!

  • Rachel
    June 7, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Yummmm! I love Cuban food AND mojitos. And ha, I remember when you got chickpeas the last time. I think I had just started reading your blog at the time and I got a big kick out of it!

  • brianna
    June 7, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    My gelato is amazing! I love the lemon flavour so good but that tiramiasu looks wicked good.

  • Nicole
    June 8, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Mmmm, tirimisu ice cream!!! So good!

  • Sarah (LovIN My Tummy)
    June 8, 2009 at 12:18 am

    When I saw your chickpeas I thought, “How many meals will it last this time?” 😉

    For gelato, that looks pretty healthy to me!

    Happy Birthday Week!

  • Acadia Durham
    June 8, 2009 at 3:18 am


    Happy start-of-your-birthday week! (I always like to drag these things out as long as possible…) It happens to be the start of my half-birthday week, as well (I milk that for what it’s worth when I can, too…)

    Have a great Monday,


  • GirlonTour
    June 8, 2009 at 3:46 am

    I wish food tasted that good when I actually went to Cuba in February….

    Lovin’ your blog!

  • Debbie(Green Apple A Day)
    June 8, 2009 at 3:50 am

    I love gelato! I had some hazelnut gelato this weekend. It was delish 🙂

  • Matt (No Meat Athlete)
    June 8, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Yum that chickpea dish looks great! And so does the mojito 🙂 How come you don’t eat chorizo?

    • jenna
      June 8, 2009 at 5:05 am


      I just don’t like it! 🙂

  • Tammy (Defining Wellness)
    June 8, 2009 at 5:20 am

    I’ve never even heard of yuca until your post — I’ll have to check that out! Everytime I read about Ryan going fishing, I wish more and more that my whole family lived down there. My brother, who is about Ryan’s age, LOVES to fish and he’s a HUNTER, like Ryan! But he likes to go out deep into the ocean, so he doesn’t have anyone who is as into it as he is! He would love fishing with Ryan. You guys were planning on heading up north this summer, right? 🙂

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats)
    June 8, 2009 at 5:50 am

    You are so lucky that you get FRESH fish!!!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    June 8, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Is it crazy that I’ve *never* tried gelato?

    Yes…which is why I need to try it ASAP. 😉 Everything looks so yummy, and looks like you guys had a fun time! 😀

  • Madison
    June 8, 2009 at 6:39 am

    I have never had yuca either but you make it sound fabulous! Also, it is 8:30 a.m. and right now I have a huge craving for tiramisu gelato. Thanks alot! 🙂 haha

  • Ada
    June 8, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Wow, all of those eats look fantastic! I actually just got CPR certified last week and am really glad I did. Hopefully I will never have to use it, but it feels good knowing that I am prepared.

  • Katherine
    June 8, 2009 at 7:11 am

    All that cuban food looks delicious – now I’m curious to try yucca! What does it taste like??

  • Meghann
    June 8, 2009 at 7:37 am

    That plate of food looks familiar. 😉 We need to go back there so I can order that myself!

  • Kati
    June 8, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I looove gelato and that tiramisu sounds so yum! Why can’t we have places like that in TX?? 🙂

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    June 8, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Sounds like such a fun night! That menu looks fabulous… and your meal looks so delicious! It’s always fun to get out and try some unique cuisine.

    YUMM! I’ve actually never had gelato, but it sure looks good. Haha, I think your serving is just about ready to slide off the cone, and you couldn’t just let it fall on the floor, right? 😉

  • Maria
    June 8, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Oh my goodness, that gelato looks amazing. i can’t believe it’s not super bad for you 🙂

  • Anna
    June 8, 2009 at 10:27 am

    I had gelato every single day when I was in Italy, and I was so sad to have to give it up when I stopped eating dairy. But now you tell me that soy gelato exists, and I may have to go down to Florida just to hit this up. That stuff is just too good!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale
    June 8, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I gotta agree with Ryan on this one – chocolate peanut butter ice cream is the best! Although, I do love pistaschio gelato too!

  • Emily L.
    June 8, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I live to love 2-4-1 mojitos.

  • Kathleen
    June 8, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Dominican here so I know a lot about making yuca. We always buy it peeled and frozen in the goya bags and boil it. So easy, economical, and fast! We mashed it with some olive oil and sauteed garlic. Yum!