Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Brown Rice, Zucchini & Kale Bites

Kale is the way to my heart! <3 

Hey everyone!
I put a picture of this on my Instagram and Facebook (follow me!!!) and I got so many requests for the recipe, so here goes!!!

The recipes has several steps but overall is pretty simple. It happened to come together for me rather quickly because I already had brown rice made.

1.5 cups cooked brown rice
5 bushy stalks of kale
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
olive oil
parmesan cheese

A) In a large pot, steam kale with about 1 inch of water. Kale will be done when leaves are bright green and slightly soft.
B) Allow kale to cool on paper towels. On a cutting board, remove leaves from stem.
C) Chop leaves into fine pieces and place in a bowl.
D) In a separate bowl whisk eggs together with spices, flours and cheese.
E) Slowly add brown rice, kale and zucchini. Keep mixing gently to incorporate all ingredients.
*Be careful not to beat the mixture too much. If your kale is still very hot it could cook your eggs!
**If your mixture still looks very wet, add a tbsp of whole grain flour to thicken it up.
F) Heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan on medium until oil begins to bubble slightly.
G) Using a spoon or spatula, scoop a golf ball sized amount of the mixture and lay it into the pan. Using the backside of your spoon or spatula, press it down to make a patty.
H) Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping. The cooked side should be a golden brown color. Repeat for other side and remove from heat.
I) Optional- Sprinkle a small amount of parmeasan cheese on top & enjoy!!!

- Depending on your pan you can cook several patties at one time. I cooked three at a time in my 9 inch pan.
- This is a great leftover meal. If you don't have precooked brown rice, make sure your rice is fully cooled before mixing with eggs. Both hot rice and kale will definitely give you scrambled eggs before you cook!
- Quinoa, white rice and barley would also work in this recipe!
- I initially tried this with egg beaters but there was not enough binding by the eggs. You can try 1/4 egg beaters with 1 whole egg.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Veggie & Bean Soup

Veggie & Bean Soup!
Hey Everyone! I hope you are all doing well and being safe after the Hurricane Sandy craziness we have all experienced over the last 48 hours! As most of you probably know by now, cooking relaxes me, so I decided to make a hearty soup to ease the nerves from the recent events. I was also away for 3 days before the hurricane so when I returned home, I had some veggies that needed to be cooked or they'd go bad. I also had a slight case of cabin fever where I was eating pretty much everything in sight! :) Most of it was pretty healthy but this soup will fix me up! I loved using the Spaghetti Squash as noodles in this dish! Delicious and low in carbs!

32oz low-sodium vegetable broth
2.5 cups chopped kale
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 box frozen lima beans (10oz)
4 carrots
1 spaghetti squash
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 medium onion
olive oil
3 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
Italian Seasoning
Black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 425F. Slice spaghetti squash in 2 and place face-down on a roasting sheet. Place in oven for 30 minutes.
2) In a large pot, pour in 4Tbsp olive oil and heat on medium high.
3) Chop onion and add to pot.
4) Mince garlic and add to pot.
5) Allow onion and garlic to sweat (about 4-5 minutes). Stirring every minute or so.
6) Add vegetable stock, bouillon and 2 cups of warm water. Allow to boil.
7) Slice carrots.
8) When liquid is boiling, add kale, carrots, spinach, frozen lima beans, rinsed kidney beans, 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning and 3 bay leaves.
9) Cook soup on high for 15 minutes, then turn down to medium-low.
10) When spaghetti squash is finished roasting, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before handling.
11) Using a fork or pasta spoon (or my pastasaurus :), scrape inside of spaghetti squash. The insides will pull like spaghetti noodles. Add the noodles from 1 half of a squash to the soup.
12) Allow to cook for 10 more minutes on medium-low.

When "noodles" are al dente, turn off heat and enjoy!!!

My Pastasaurus! My brother's lovely girlfriend, Allie gave it to me for Christmas last year!!! Love it! 
a) Remove the seeds from the squash before roasting, makes for easier removal of "noodles".
b) You can make this simple soup with anything you have around your kitchen. Feel free to add potatoes, celery or broccoli.
c) If you are not a "salty" person, you can also sub the stock for low-sodium stock or remove the bouillon cube.
d) If you want a Pastasaurus, here is the Amazon link.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sesame Peanut Tofu over a Simple Kale Salad

Mmm mmm good!

So, last night I was perusing Facebook and stumbled across a delicious looking photo of some kind of sesame tofu that my FB friend Jeffery had posted. The tofu was skewered and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The picture look fabulous and got me in the mood to try something different.
This recipe was a spontaneous try in my kitchen to see how it turned out. I was hoping it wouldn't be horrible and it wasn't! It was very tasty and I will absolutely be making this again! The instructions are long but in total it took me about 20 minutes to put this lovely lunch together! It served as one big lunch for me, so if you are making this for more people just double the recipe.

By the way, Jeffery has a really fabulous food/healthy blog, too! Check it out "The Matters of Mitter".

For the sauce:
1 Tbsp organic peanut butter (regular peanut butter would also be fine)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Chili Powder
Black pepper
Vegetable Seasoning (I used a locally made one but you can make your own in a flash. See the tips below).

For the Salad:
5-6 stems of kale, washed and dried
1/2 block of extra firm tofu, water removed
1 tomato
1-2 slices of vidalia onion
1/2 lemon
sesame seeds

1) In a saucepan, combine oil, peanut butter and soy sauce. Mix.
2)Heat mixture on medium-low until peanut butter begins to melt. Stirring continuously.
3) I used very limited amount of paprika and chili powder. I'd say about 1/4 teaspoon of both. If you prefer more heat, add extra. Add in the vegetable seasoning and stir. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.
4) Reduce heat to low and let simmer.
5) While sauce is simmering, cut your 1/2 block of tofu into 3 slices. Then cut slices into triangles or whatever shape you like.
6) Using a misto sprayer, spray a frying pan with olive oil and place slices into the pan.
7) Saute on medium heat until the edges of the tofu begin to brown slightly. Flip. This may take 3-5 minutes for each side.
8) While tofu and sauce are cooking, cut the kale. I included the stems for a little extra crunch.
9) Cube the tomato.
10) Mix the kale, tomato and sliced onion in a bowl or add to a plate.
11) When both sides of tofu are browned add the peanut sauce mixture. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes flipping and turning the tofu continuously.
12)  Squeeze the lemon juice onto the salad to brighten up the flavors.
13) Gently add tofu to the top of the salad.
14) Sprinkle with sesame seeds and some of the remaining sauce if you like.


a) If you don't have a vegetable seasoning that you like, you can simple make your own by mixing your favorite seasonings together and keeping a bottle in your spice cabinet. The seasoning I used is a mixture of flax, mustard seeds, onion, parsley, oregano, garlic, dill, fennel, turmeric, sesame, and paprika. Big flavor!

b) If you have time, I'd try to marinate the tofu in the sauce. It would give a nice flavor boost!

Thanks & Have a Delicious Day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

I already enjoyed some of the smoothie before I snapped the pic! :)

Below is another example of a simple and delicious smoothie that is packed full of nutrients! You can make this ahead of time and enjoy right after your workout!

1 fresh ripe banana
7 medium/large strawberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder of your choice
16 oz almond milk (or low-fat/fat-free cows milk)
Ground Cinnamon

1) Pour the almond milk into blender.
2) Add 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder to blender.
3) Cut off stems/leaves from strawberries. If you have an older blender that is on it's way out, you may want to slice the strawberries in half to help it along.
4) Peel the banana and break into 3-4 pieces.
5) Add fruit to blender.
6) Blend on high or liquefy setting for 20 seconds. The smoothie will be frothy on the top.
7) Season with cinnamon as you prefer. I shook my cinnamon container about 4 times and blended for 2-3 seconds to mix it. Feel free to sprinkle on top of your smoothie after you pour it in your glass.

Voila! Enjoy!

Have a delicious day! :)


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Simplified blog look/layout

I had to change the old blog. Between the font, design and everything else it was driving me nuts! I simplified it a lot and just made it about the recipes. What do you think?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

Chocolate PB Banana Smoothie

After a hard workout, it is sometimes hard to make a meal/snack that will replenish your body with the nutrients it needs. It's easy to grab a bag or box of whatever is on hand and begin to chow down. Sadly, this habit will basically eradicate any work you have just done and probably at compensatory calories to your daily intake. In other words- eating garbage after your workout doesn't help no matter how hard you exercised! 

I have begun to incorporate more protein smoothies into my daily regimen because they are tasty and often will kick a sweet tooth at the same time. 

Tonight I went a little bananas in my classes at the gym and felt that some protein would be necessary to fuel my muscles and body after my workout! This shake has 28 grams of protein, healthy fats and a nice little oomph of carbs!

1 scoop chocolate protein of your choice (I use Whole Foods Chocolate Whey)
1 frozen banana, sliced
2 tbsp organic peanut butter of your choice
16 oz of almond milk 

1) Pour almond milk into blender and add protein powder. Blend.
2) Add 1 tbsp of peanut butter and 1/2 frozen banana. Blend.
3) Repeat step 2 with remaining PB and banana. 


a) dairy/soy/rice milk can be used but will alter protein content

b) If using organic peanut butter, keeping it refrigerated not only assists in reducing bacterial growth but also makes it much easier to mix or scoop out! 
c) I use a junky blender so if you have a high-end blender or something fancy, just toss it all in! 

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Let the pumpkin adoration continue! I posted a photo of my first attempt at this last week and while it was good, it was missing that sweet pie goodness! This recipe makes more than one serving so you can save for the next day or share with a friend!
So here it is: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
1.5 cups old fashioned oats
1.5 cup almond milk
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Almond milk, oats and pumkpin!
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tbsp 1% milk
1 tsp maple syrup

1) Add almond milk and oats to a saucepan and heat at medium-high.
2) When edges of liquid begin to bubble add pumpkin, applesauce and pumpkin pie spice. Mix thoroughly.
3) When mixture begins to bubble add remaining ingredients. Cook for another 2 minutes, mixing frequently so oats don't burn to bottom of saucepan.

Serve warm and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice for added flavor!

Don't have pumpkin pie spice? Make your own! Mix in 1 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tsp ginger, 2 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp all-spice: mix together & voila!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tuna Pasta Salad

Some of you may know that I hate to waste food! So many people in the United States and around the world are food insecure. According to the EPA, in 2010 over 34 million tons of food waste was generated. 34 MILLION TONS!!!!! Now, I am sure a large part of that is food bits that couldn't be consumed (peels and such), but think about the mouths we could feed if we all took time not to waste food?

I am always saving and eating my leftovers in an effort not to waste food. Sometimes, eating the same thing 2 days in a row can be boring so I often try to revamp it. This recipe is completely made up of leftovers minus the tuna. Here we go!

1 can tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup leftover cooked spinach
1.5 cups leftover cooked whole wheat ziti pasta
1/2 cup heirloom tomatoes (almost at shelf life)
2 tbsp fat free cream cheese (last bit of the container)
2.5 tbsp low fat mayo made with olive oil
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Paprika -optional
Red pepper flakes- optional

1) In a large bowl, add a tiny bit of water to pasta and mix. This will help break the stuck pieces apart.
2) Slice tomatoes in half and add to pasta.
3) Add spinach, mayo and cream cheese.
4) Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix ingredients thoroughly.
5) Season with spices to taste. I generally use the tiniest bit of salt and more seasoning. The paprika and red pepper add a nice pop of flavor.

1) Think about your leftover recreations when making your main meals. If you know you may have too much  of an ingredient, keep in mind ways to use it the next day.
2) You can swap chicken/turkey for tuna in this recipe and it will still be delicious!

Have a Delicious Day!

Peanut Butter Banana Whippers

Whip it Good!
So my darling fiance and his family LOVE ice cream! I mean LOVE LOVE LOVE ice cream! I have definitely caught the ice cream bug from them and enjoy it once in a while. About 2 years ago, I went to a fabulous restaurant in Philadelphia owned by my best friend's friend Rocco. The restaurant is called Fuel and features a substantial menu of fresh, organic ingredients and all under 500 calories. Now, I know some of you are thinking, "Yeah, and it all probably taste like paper." Nope! The food is filling and flavorful!
Well, to get on with the story, my friend told me about these Banana Whips that Fuel sells. She described it as ice cream but without the guilt. Sounds good to me! When I tried them, I ordered the Nutella Banana Whips and oh my goodness, delicious! So here are my rendition of the Banana Whips!

2 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tbsp peanut butter (I used organic, but any will do)
Ground Cinnamon

(Yes, that's it!)

1) In a food processor, puree the frozen bananas until smooth. You may need to pulse the processor a few times to pull the banana down toward the blade. Use a silicon spatula or wooden spoon to push down banana. Whip for about 30 seconds more.
2) Add peanut butter and puree until completely incorporated.
3) Using a silicon spatula, scoop banana whips out of food processor bowl and into an air-tight, freezer safe container.
4) Scoop your own portion out and sprinkle with cinnamon!

a) This simple recipe can be adapted in a million ways! Add nutella (like fuel), berries, protein powder, anything! You name it and it will probably taste amazing!

Kale Chips!

I didn't have time to take a picture of my finished product because I was Skyping with a friend and munching away. This is what they look like when done!
Photo Credit:  Kalyn's Kitchen
So I posted a photo of kale chips on my Facebook page a while back and I have gotten a lot of requests for the recipe. Kale is one of the world's superfoods and is very high in Vitamins K, C & A! It is high in fiber and pretty darn delicious, too!

I am a potato chip kind of person. I love the crunchy, salty, greasy aspect of it. But guess what? Crunchy, salty, greasy isn't great for your outsides or insides. Kale chips are a perfect way to get the craving for the crunchy, salty, greasy without all the negative side effects.

1 bunch kale
Olive oil in a misto (or olive oil spray)
Sea Salt Grinder
Black Peppercorn Grinder
Baking sheet pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
1) Thoroughly wash and dry kale.
2) Using a knife, slice the leafy portion off of the center stem of all of the kale.
3) Cut the kale leaves into "chip sized" portions. I like tortilla sized kale chips, about 1 inch x 2 inch.
4) Spray olive oil on the sheet pan.
5) Spread kale out on the sheet pan. Try not to let leaves overlap. You may need to make two batch or use 2 sheet pans.
6) Lightly spray the kale with the olive oil. The idea is to provide a light coating and not soak the kale. Soaking it will cause the kale to get soggy and not achieve the crispy, chippy effect.
7) Using the sea salt and peppercorn grinders season to taste.
** Kale doesn't need much seasoning so I wouldn't advise going overboard with the salt. The natural flavor is delightful. Enjoy it!
8) Bake for 7-10 minutes. Keep an eye on your kale. If the edges begin to darken, it's done.

a) Save the stems of the kale in a freezer bag to make your own vegetable stock! Mmmm!
b) Kale smells absolutely putrid as it bakes. PUTRID! Don't let it discourage you from trying this tasty, healthy snack!

Kale me, baby!

Have a delicious day!!!! xoxox

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pumpkin Blueberry Quinoa Bake

Pumpkin Blueberry Quinoa Baked with apple butta on the side! Mmmm!
Hey there readers!
So I know I am always making the "will blog more" promise! Sorry I have been away for some time! School and internships are very intense but I am surviving!

Below is a recipe I modified from a pin that my good friend Danielle put up on Pinterest. Of course I can never leave a recipe alone. So here is my modified bake! Please note- this is not a sweet breakfast food. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and the pumpkin is not noticeable at all. I am working on a more Autumn Friendly version of this but with oats.

Have a delicious day & enjoy!

2  cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 cup blueberries divided
1 cup pure plain pumpkin
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup egg whites
1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup 
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cinnamon 
Optional: apple butter
Optional: flaxseed


1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease 8-by-8-inch baking pan
2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add maple syrup (if using) and whisk.
3. Add pumpkin to egg mixture and whisk until completely mixed. 
4. Add quinoa to egg mixture. Stir with a large spoon to combine. Pour 1/2 into the baking dish and spread it around to ensure that it’s even.
5. Sprinkle in half of the blueberries and pour remaining quinoa mixture on top.
6. Sprinkle last half of blueberries on top of mixture.  Sprinkle about a tbsp of flaxseed on top if you have it.
7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set and golden.
8. Cool completely and cut into squares. Serve with a dollop of apple butter.

** To make sweeter: you may add about a Tbsp of honey or additional brown sugar to the egg mixture. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Avoiding Food Additives

I am sourcing this article from HealthCastleNutrition's website. It's a short, interesting article about common food addtiives that may be harmful or cause irritation.

Which Food Additives to Avoid

food coloring
(HealthCastle.com) With the movement towards minimally processed whole foods, consumers are paying more attention to what food additives are in the foods they eat. With that in mind, what are the food additives you should avoid, and where are they found?

Top Food Additives To Avoid

1. Artificial Colors
Where? Artificial colors are found mostly in processed foods, such as soda, candy, gelatin dessert such as Jell-O, and some pre-packaged baked goods. While it is no surprise that most junk foods have artificial colorings added, artificial colorings have also found their way into breakfast cereal (Fiber One Original, Froot Loops), yogurt (Breyers' Smooth & Creamy), and packaged pasta mix (Kraft Dinner - Macaroni and Cheese). This is where being a label reader still pays off.
​Why avoid? The health concerns with this particular group of food additives range from possible hyperactivity in children to cancer in laboratory animals to possible allergic reactions. Artificial food colorings are unacceptable because alternatives for coloring food do exist in nature - think turmeric (yellow), beets (shades of red or pink), paprika (orange), or annatto (yellow). The use of artificial colors is often a signal that an actual ingredient (such as fruit) is missing from the food, and therefore must be replaced by coloring the food a shade that approximates the real thing.
2. Caramel Coloring
Where? Caramel coloring is found in soda, gravy or sauce mixes, precooked meats, beer, and chocolate-flavored products. At home, caramel is produced simply by heating sugar until it melts and darkens to a brownish hue. Industrially, caramel is produced by heating a mixture of sugars with either acids or alkalis.
​Why avoid? In the case of caramel coloring produced by the use of ammonia, two contaminant compounds produced have been shown to cause cancer in lab studies. California's Environmental Protection Agency lists ammonia-caramel coloring as a carcinogen, and requires products exceeding a threshold of 29 mcg to bear a warning. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reported that as of March 2012, some soft-drinks purchased in the DC area still exceeded the 29 mcg threshold set.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Where? ​In diet sodas, "no sugar added" beverages and candies, breakfast cereals, ice cream, and yogurt.
​Why avoid? ​As HealthCastle.com's own Editor-in-Chief Gloria Tsang points out in her book Go UnDiet, studies have not conclusively shown that artificial sweeteners help with weight loss. In fact, animal studies appear to show they may promote weight gain, possibly due to over-consumption of other foods to compensate for the reduced calories in the artificially sweetened ones. A large-scale study called the Framingham Heart Study actually found that regular consumption of sodas, whether diet or regular, resulted in a 50% higher risk of having metabolic syndrome.
4. Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite
Where? In cured or processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, ham, and other luncheon meats. Nitrates/nitrites act as preservatives and also help give the processed meats their pinkish hue. However, nitrates or nitrites can react with other byproducts of digestion to form nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens.
Why avoid? Regular consumption of processed meats has been linked to higher risk of certain cancers. The so-called "nitrite-free" or naturally cured products do not fare better: They use celery juice extract or celery powder, which are also high in nitrates. Processed meats are typically also high in sodium and saturated fats.
5. Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Where? ​In frozen pizza, some boxed crackers and cookies, some commercial baked goods, icing or frosting, microwave popcorn, salty snack mixes, and bottled salad dressing.
Why avoid? ​Partially hydrogenated oils in foods mean you are consuming trans fats, which adversely affect your blood lipid profile: lowering the HDL ("good") cholesterol and raising the LDL ("bad") cholesterol. This raises the risk of heart disease. In addition, foods containing trans fats tend to be high in sodium or sugar and high in total fat as well, both factors of concern when it comes to cardiovascular disease risk.

The Bottom Line

Staying away from food additives is an evolving job that nowadays requires vigilant label reading. Your best bet in avoiding most of the additives in our food system is to stay away from the boxed "stuff." Stick to mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes you cook from scratch, and lean proteins you buy raw and cook at home. Yes, it does require some time to do, but your body is worth that investment.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chili: Part 2!

Out of chaos comes clarity! My life has been crazy, crazy, crazy lately! I was inspired to revamp my chili recipe after meeting with a nutrition client last night. It is a combination of my own recipe and some inspiration from a fabulous site called: cookingcomically.com. The writer of that blog is a creative and hilarious cook and his recipes kill! Enjoy!!!!!!

3 T olive oil
1 package soy crumbles
1 cup water
1 chopped green pepper
½ chopped red pepper
½ chopped yellow pepper
½ white onion chopped
½ red onion chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups pasta sauce
1 can no added salt kidney beans, drained
1 can butter beans, drained
1 T red crushed red pepper flakes
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T paprika
1 T cumin
1 T sugar
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp black pepper
Get up close and personal with your food!
In a large pot, add 3 T olive oil at medium heat.
Add both varieties of chopped onion and allow to simmer until edges start to become somewhat golden.
Add soy crumbles and water to pot. Stir so crumbles break apart.
The contents of your pot will begin to sizzle. Add water, celery & chopped peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Drain and add kidney & butter beans to chili mixture. Stir well.
Add 2 cups of pasta sauce to mixture. Stir well.
In a sealable container such as a zip baggie or plastic container, mix all dry seasonings together in this container. Seal and shake it up!
Add seasoning to the chili mixture and stir well.
Reduce heat and stir occasionally. Cook for about 30-45 minutes.
Serve hot & enjoy!

1)The sauce used in the images above is homemade. If you do not have access/time to homemade sauce, try to find one that contains little sugar and preservatives. The less junk in your chili, the better!

2) If you are NOT vegetarian and would like to add ground meat to this recipe, I would suggest first cooking the meat and draining it before adding to mixture. My recommendations would be ground turkey/ chicken.

3) I love to enjoy my chili with a corn muffin. Until I perfect a recipe, I swear by Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. It take 15 minutes to prepare and it really delicious! No high fructose corn syrup, too!
4)  Try topping this fabu dessert with fat free cheese, sour cream or enjoy with whole grain crackers.
5) Chili is wonderful to freeze! Make this whole recipe and freeze for a great go-to lunch or dinner!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Promises, promises!

Hey everyone!
I know the blogging has taken a slight backseat to my school semester but I promise to come back with a ton of recipes in hand! In the meantime, I am going to be posting links for helpful articles, motivational images and quotes and any other deliciously educational material I can find.

The article below is written for Yahoo! by David Zincenko. He is the author of the "Eat This, Not That!" series of which I have 2 books! I like his style because home cooking from scratch doesn't work in every scenario for every person. This article caught my eye because it is all about the way national food chains have polluted Italian pasta staples!


Have a delicious day!


Monday, March 5, 2012

12 Quick Breakfast Ideas

This is a list from CookingLight.com but it features some great ideas (many of which I already do!).

1|Single-serving bowls of whole-grain cereal are packed with vitamins and minerals.

2| Pair string cheese with whole wheat crackers.

3| Hard-boil several eggs to have on hand for busy mornings.

4| Small cartons of low-fat yogurt are a good combination of carbohydrates and protein.

5| Whole-grain English muffins can serve as a base for a breakfast sandwich. Spread on peanut butter, a source of satisfying protein and heart-healthy fats.

6| Make breakfast wraps with whole wheat tortillas; roll in lean protein, such as turkey and low-fat cheese, scrambled eggs with diced peppers and onions, or peanut butter and bananas.

7| Keep low-fat cheese slices on hand for breakfast sandwiches.

8| Single-serving cartons of low-fat, low-sodium cottage cheese are a good source of protein; stir in berries or fruit for fiber.

9| Top whole wheat toaster waffles with a tablespoon of peanut butter and/or fruit preserves.

10| Try soy or lean turkey sausage patties (you can eat them alone or put them in a breakfast wrap or sandwich).

11| Stir a tablespoon or two of fruit preserves or chopped dried fruit into plain instant oatmeal to add a touch of sweetness.

12| For protein, add a tablespoon or two of nuts to your yogurt or oatmeal. Stir frozen berries into oatmeal or yogurt to boost the vitamin content.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Easy Ways to Determine Portion Sizes

I found this image while blog jumping (jumping from one blog that leads me to a link to another blog, etc.). I don't know the true source (and I am not claiming to be the source) but it is an excellent little tool to determine what your portions should be. Enjoy!

Baked Avocado with Tomato salad & Steamed broccoli!

I absolutely love avocado! Its an amazing fruit that is commonly associated as being a vegetable because it isn't sweet. They are so versatile and can be incorporated into so many things besides guacamole (which is one of my favorite things in the world to eat!).

A very good friend of mine posted a blog about baking an avocado in an egg! It is pretty simple and the original post that I was inspired by came from here. I Googled it and there were so many baked avocado messes that came up from the weight of the egg causing the avocado to roll. My finished product was intact! Yay!
Check out the recipe for my whole delicious and nutritious lunch!!
Have a delicious day friends!!

1 avocado
1 medium/large egg
1 tomato (I use slicing tomatoes on the vine)
10 yellow grape tomatoes
1 cup broccoli
1/4 cup chopped onion
10 stalks chives (I used the smaller, prepackaged kind)
Italian seasoning (McCormick works well)
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

AvocadoPreheat your over to 425 degrees.
1) Start by selecting an avocado that is just ripened enough to be somewhat tender when you squeeze it. You don't want one that is too firm or that gives way when you grip it.
2) Press the avocado slightly into your cutting board so one side flattens out slightly. Don't press too hard so the skin breaks. Just enough pressure that the avocado doesn't roll around on your counter.
3) Roll the avocado a half turn so you can see the flat side and the remaining rounded side. Cut it in half so there is a flatter side and will be your "dish".
4) Remove the core of the avocado and discard.
5) With a spoon, follow the edge of the hole left in the avocado and scrap out toward the bottom and edges of the existing hole. Make room for the egg to be dropped into it.
6) Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic and onion. Place on a baking sheet.
7) Crack and egg and gently allow the uncooked egg to fall into the hole you created.
8) Season the egg with the same spices as in step 6.
9) Gently put the baking sheet into the oven for about 15 minutes or until the egg is cooked through.
Tomato Salad
1) Chop vine tomato, yellow grape tomatoes, chives, onion and place in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad and season with salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning.
*If you have some, add basil or fresh mozzarella cheese. It's mouthwatering!

Steam the broccoli and plate with avocado and salad!

Enjoy!! Mmmmmm!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quinoa Patties with sauteed greens

This recipe was adapted from one I found on Pinterest (my newer obsession). It came from wholeliving.com and I did adapt it a bit to offer less cholesterol and a bit more flavor. My mind was going crazy thinking about all of the vegetable variations I could mix into this recipe; it's endless!  So here goes!

Ingredients for patties:
2.5 cups cooked/room temp quinoa
3 cloves of garlic
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup egg beaters
6 stalks scallions
1/2 large white onion
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup whole grain seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried thyme
olive oil sprayer/spray
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for greens:
3 stalks kale
3 stalks swiss chard
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil

Quinoa Patties:
1)Cook quinoa as instructed on the package. To get about 2.5 cups quinoa I used 1 cup of dry quinoa. Let cool to room temperature.
2) Using a food processor chop and combine the onion, scallions, cheese, rosemary and thyme. Chop into small, coarse pieces. If the mixture gathers some liquid at the bottom of the processor bin, drain slightly.
3) Combine quinoa, eggs, egg beaters and salt in a bowl. Add processed mix into bowl until well combined.
4) In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs and almond meal. Add to quinoa mixture. It should be mixed well and not overly dry/wet.
5) Spray a pan with olive oil and heat at medium/low.
6) Using a spoon (or in my case a 1/3 cup silicon measuring cup), scoop the mixture onto the pan and push down to flatten into patties.
7) Let cook until you can see the edges of the patty begins to brown. Flip. Continue this way for about 7-10 minutes or until evenly browned on both sides.

1) Pour olive oil into a large saucepan with garlic cloves. Allow garlic to heat up at medium.
2) Add kale and chard to pan and gently mix with olive.
3) Cook until the leaves begin to slightly wilt and become bright in color.
4) Add seasonings to taste and serve.

This recipe was so good and filled a craving I was having for a hearty meal. Add grated vegetables to the patties for a variety of flavor combinations!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Vegetable Medley over Bulgar Wheat

This was a delicious meal I prepared pretty quickly for my lunch!
Loaded with fiber, iron and protein this is a nutrient rich meal with lots of flavor!

This recipe was essentially a "leftover" food item recipe that turned out to be delightful! I had some fresh spinach that I feared would go bad if I didn't do something with it within the next day or so. Here is what I ended up with!
Like my fancy "takeout" container?
I didn't have time to plate it nicely, ha!
1 Cup fresh spinach (frozen would also work, make sure it is thawed first)
1 medium sized white potato peeled, sliced into very thin slices
1 carrot
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil spray (I use a mister)
1/2 cup Gimme Lean Meat Substitute (if you eat meat, feel free to use ground turkey, very lean beef or ground chicken)
1/2 cup dry bulgar wheat
Black pepper
Onion powder

1) Spray a sautee pan with mister to coat with olive oil mist.
2) Add 1 clove garlic and turn heat to medium. Allow garlic to simmer slightly.
3) Spray pan again with mister and add potato slices.
4) Allow slices to brown. Stir and flip frequently so the potatoes don't stick to the pan. (About 4-5 minutes).
5) In a small saucepan bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil. Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts and become a very bright green. Reduce heat and add 1 garlic clove. Simmer for 2 minutes.
6) Using a pasta spoon or any spoon with holes to drain water, transfer drained spinach from saucepan to sautee pan, leaving the excess water in the saucepan. Allow spinach to cook with potatoes.
7) Using the leftover water from the spinach, prepare your bulgar wheat. Add bulgar wheat and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the wheat absorbs the water.
8) Using a peeler, peel off the top layer of the carrot and discard. Then peel slivers of carrot until the carrot is mostly peeled. Add slivers to sautee pan.
9) Mist with olive oil spray.
10) Add seasonings to taste.
11) If using, Gimme Lean meat sub or another kind of meat substitute, add to vegetable medley. Break up pieces until it resembles ground beef. If you chose to use a meat, follow the instructions below.
12) Continue to cook for a few more minutes or until the medley and "meat" are browned slightly.
13) Spray bulgar wheat with mister and spinkle a small amount of onion powder. Top with vegetables and enjoy!!

Using Meat:
In a separate pan, brown thawed meat before starting to cook the vegetables. This process takes much longer than substitutes because they are essentially ready to eat. After the meat of your choice is browned, drain excess liquid and add to vegetables at step 11.

** I used the excess water from the spinach because I like to utilize all of the vitamins and minerals present in a food. When a vegetable is boiled, the colored water leftover contains many minerals and vitamins that were leached from the food during boiling. Using that same water to boil a grain that absorbs water allows you to still enjoy the benefits of all of the nutrients in the food.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Post- Workout Veggie scramble

I started doing the Beachbody Insanity program this week and it is so good! I normally am not a pusher of high protein diets but the scramble below is perfect for after an intense exercise bout.

3/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites
1/2 zucchini sliced thin
1 handful of fresh spinach
Olive oil in a mister
Onion powder
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
2 slices of low calorie multi-grain bread

Coat the base of a frying pan with the olive oil from the misto.
Add spinach and zucchini and sautee until tender.
Add egg and mix generously so the egg covers all of the vegetables.
Add seasonings to taste and let eggs cook until slightly browned or to your preference.
Enjoy with toasted bread!

This recipe is great because it is low in calories, high in protein, fiber and iron. Yum!
Have a delicious day!