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!