Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chick Pea and Spinach Sauté

Recently I was in Atalntic City for a bachelorette party and we dined at a tapas restaurant in Revel Casino called Amada (a Jose Garces restaurant). The restaurant offered a pretty extensive menu of tapas or Spanish style appetizers, finger foods and snacks. This restaurant offered gourmet tapas and I was just in heaven! S many items were absolutely delicious but one in particular stood out, the "Espinacas con garbanzos". Let me say that my version was not anywhere as amazing as the version I had however, it is so delicious in a different way. Give it a whirl! 

2 tbsp olive oil 
1 can garbanzo beans 
2 cups frozen spinach 
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 heaping tbsp tomato sauce 
Salt and pepper

1) Heat olive oil in a large saucepan until hot. 
2) Add 1/2 can chickpeas to skillet carefully (the chickpeas will cause the oil to pop so be careful). 
3) Cook chickpeas on medium-high heat for ~10 minutes until crispy. Set aside. 
4) In a different skillet, cook spinach in a small amount of water until wilted. Drain water when spinach is completed. 
5) Add tomato sauce, spinach, seasonings and garlic to the 2nd skillet. Cook on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. 
6) Add other 1/2 can of chickpeas and lemon juice to spinach mixture. Cook for 5-7 minutes. 
7) Add original crispy chickpeas and fold into the spinach mixture. 
8) Allow to rest for a few minutes. 

This can be served alone, with a hearty Italian bread or over quinoa! 


Nutrition Information

285 calories per serving
34 gm carbohydrates
13gm fat
0 gm saturated fat
10gm protein
62mg sodium
2gm sugar
8 gm fiber

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Whole Wheat Waffles

I am a kitchen gadget kind of person. I love all of the weird things that have been developed to make cooking easier (or harder, depending on the gadget). There are some that I swear by only because they do improve the quality of your products by being tried and true; one of those products is a waffle iron. I bought my waffle iron pretty recently, about 5 or 6 months ago and I use it every week! I love mixing up a batch of batter with this or that and tasting the end result. This is a basic and delicious whole wheat waffle recipe that can be used as a pancake recipe if you don't have a waffle iron.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1 cup oats (I used Bob's Red Mill 8 Grain Hot Cereal)
2 eggs
2 tbsp cinnamon applesauce
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted butter- optional (Will make the waffles a little more savory)
2 tbsp oil- optional (the applesauce replaces the oil, so only add it if you are not using applesauce)

1) Preheat your waffle iron.
2) Mix whole wheat flour, oats and baking powder together. Set aside.
3) In a separate bowl, mix milk, eggs, applesauce and butter/oil (if you are using it).
4) Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing the batter well. It is okay if there are some small lumps.
5) Spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray, then pour about 1/3 cup batter onto waffle iron.
6) The waffles will be on the softer side, if you prefer more crispy waffles cook for longer.

a) Add banana, chocolate chips, cocoa powder or fruit to change the variation of the waffle.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Quick Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

I personally cannot take credit for this awesome recipe! I was watching The Chew a while back and Daphne Oz featured it on an episode dedicated to pizza. Anyway, its so easy and pretty fast to whip up and I use it pretty frequently now. Enjoy!

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I think Chobani works best, I tried the Trader Joe's version and it was too thin)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1. Mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for about 5 minutes.
2. Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes.
3. Roll out and knead for 30 seconds.
4. Roll out on a floured surface with a rolling pin.
5. On a stove-top skillet cook both sides for 3-4 minutes.
6. Top with your favorite pizza topping and cook in a 400 degree oven for 8-12 minutes depending on your toppings. Tough veggies will need longer in the oven.

a. If cooking a plain pizza, less time is needed. Make sure cheese is melted.
b. If your dough is very sticky, add more flour and knead until it no longer sticks to your fingers. With the Trader Joe's Greek yogurt I had to add about 1/4 cup of flour.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

TexMex Style Soup

Hi Everyone! So as many of you probably know, I LOVE Southern California (specifically San Diego). I dream of living there and enjoying the wonderful weather and food someday! I also LOVE soup; is that weird? Its mid-Summer here in NJ and the weather isn't too bad- about 85 degrees and clear today. Typically we get dreadfully hot and humid weather that is not appropriate for soup. I am a year-round soup eater and today I was reminiscing about SoCal and decided to make a spicy little soup.

1 head of cauliflower, cut up in large chunks
3.5 cups low sodium broth (i used vegetable)
1 medium onion
2/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
2 large bay leaves
Avocado- optional
Salsa- optional
Olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Place cauliflower on an non-greased baking sheet with a silpat. Back for 30 minutes.
3) While cauliflower bakes, slice onion into and caramelized with a 1-2 tsp olive oil. The edges should become slightly browned.
4) Once cauliflower and onions are done, add to a pot with low sodium broth. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes on medium/low.
5) To blend the vegetables you can either use an immersion blender (which I don't have) or pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot and turn to medium heat.
6) Add black pepper, paprika, oregano, salt and bay leaves. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
7) Grate garlic cloves into soup and add Greek yogurt. Stir until smooth.
8) Add cheddar and mozzarella cheese and cook another 5-6 minutes until melted and mixed thoroughly.
9) Serve with optional toppings such as sliced avocado, sriracha for heat or your favorite salsa ( I use Trader Joe's Corn & Black Bean Salsa). Enjoy!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pleasantly Purple Smoothie

This delightful smoothie was my breakfast on the go today! Sorry for the lousy picture!
Feel free to add your favorite vanilla protein powder to make this a nice post workout smoothie! 

4 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup frozen mango 
1/2 cup frozen blueberries 
1 very ripe banana
1 cup coconut juice
2 tbsp whole flaxseeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup cold water

Add all ingredients and 1/2 cup of water to your blender (I use the Nutribullet) and blend for 30-60 seconds. 

Add remaining water as desired for your preferred consistency! Enjoy!

Have a Delicious day!!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1 Pan Vegetable Stew

Hi Everyone!
I just began the final leg of my nutrition internships yesterday! I am still going to try to post as much as a I can but make sure you keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter accounts for  items as I make them. This stew was inspired by my friend Marielle. We share a lot of similar food interests; she is a more strict vegetarian than I am and has made her own version of this twice recently. She always sends me pictures and I decided that I was going to tackle it today! In total, this really only took about 30 minutes from start to finish. I happened to have all of these items on hand but this would make for a beautiful post-farmer's market meal! Not pictured, I enjoyed this with a nice triangle of ciabatta! Mmmm!

1 can crushed tomatoes (28oz)
1 can chick peas, drained (15oz)
4 stems kale, chopped & including stems
3 large portobello mushroon caps
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4-5 stems scallions, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

1) On medium heat add olive oil, onion and garlic. Allow to brown slightly.
2) Add kale and tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes until becomes wilted.
3) Add chick peas, mushrooms, scallions and garlic. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Sauce will reduce slightly.
4) Zest the 1/2 lemon and squeeze juice into mixture. Add parsley.
5) Cook on medium low for 4-5 minutes more.
6) Rest for 2-3 minutes.

It is really the easiest meal to make! The most time is spent chopping everything up!

1) If you are not a vegetarian simple add meat. Chicken or ground turkey would be fabulous.
2) If you don't have parsley, basil would be a great substitute. I would imagine dried herbs would also work well but not provide the fresh flavor.
3) If you don't have scallions they can be omitted entirely. They are a member of the onion family and mine were going to go bad if I didn't use them.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Shrimp & Grits

Hi everyone!
It's been a bit since I posted a recipe because we moved and I really haven't been cooking! :( Anyway, lst month we went to Florida to visit my brother and Joe went crazy for this Shrimp & Grits dish at this cute little seafood joint near St. Augustine. Fast forward to today, I decided to make his favorite dish for our 7 year anniversary! I looked up some recipes because Shrimp & Grits is foreign to me as far as making it. I found a Paula Deen recipe and lightened it up a lot because she is butter fiend!

This recipe clocks in at 1,170 calories, 42gm fat and 1,699mg sodium but serves 4-5. At 4 servings, its 292.5 calories, 10.5gm fat, 425mg sodium each!

Going without the ham? You save 1180mg sodium! Woohoo!

 ***I had all of the following ingredients in my kitchen. Will post even lighter options in the tips at the bottom of this post! ****

So here goes!

2 small green peppers, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
24 small shrimp,thawed, peeled & deveined
1/2 cup cubed ham (try using a leftover pork chop)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large tomato, diced
2 tsp sriracha
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup grits
1 tbsp & 2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tbsp butter

1) Add 1 tsp olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat and saute ham. When slightly browned, transfer ham to a bowl and set aside.
2) Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the same skillet and add onions & peppers. Saute through until peppers are wilted and onions are caramelized. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
3) Add 1 tsp olive oil to same skillet and cook shrimp until shrimp is pink and slightly browned. Flip frequently so all of shrimp is cooked through. Should be 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
4) Add diced tomato, sriracha, white wine, 1 tsp salt to skillet. Scrape browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and allow to reduce slightly. After 4-5 minutes the mixture will thicken slightly.
5) Add onions and peppers and stir for 1-2 minutes.
6) Add shrimp and ham and mix.
7) Add milk and stir well. Reduce heat to medium and allow sauce to thicken slightly. Make take a few minutes.
8) Add 3 cups of water to a pot and bring to boil. Slowly add grits, stirring continuously.  Remove from heat and allow to thicken. Add 1 tbsp butter and mix.

Scoop 3/4 cup cooked grits into a bowl and top with shrimp and ham mixture! Enjoy!!! Mmmmm!

a) I am a vegetarian, so the ham is a no for me. You can easily use your favorite meatless ham in this recipe.
b) You can use 99/1 turkey as a great alternative, too!
c) The original recipe called for canned, crushed tomatoes, so feel free to use that instead of a fresh tomato.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Healthy Hash Browns

Hi Everyone!
My schedule has been CRAZY lately but after getting a lot of requests, I had to post this super easy recipe for Healthy Hash Browns! It takes about an hour when everything is said and done but the result is a crispy, delicious version of a typically unhealthy breakfast option. I ended up eating almost the whole plate for dinner, so I guess it was brinner?? :)
The beauty is this recipe is how low in carbohydrates yet you get a nice serving of veggies and fiber! Enjoy!

1 butternut squash
1 medium sweet potato
1 whole egg
2 tbsp almond meal
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 400F.
2) Slice spaghetti squash in half and place cut sides down on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes or until edges are browned.
3) Allow spaghetti squash to cool.
4) While squash is cooking, peel the sweet potato. Grate potato or slice potato into 6-8 sections and chop in a food processor.
5) Crack the egg into a large bowl and whip until fluffy. Set aside.
6) When squash is cooled, pull spaghetti strands with a fork. In a downward motion from the stem of the squash, scrape to pull strands.
7) When squash is "pulled", mix 1/2 into the egg bowl with sweet potato crumbles. Mix thoroughly.
8) Add almond meal and spices.
9) In a skillet, add olive oil and set to medium heat.
10) Using a spoon, drop the mixture onto the pan and smooth down. Cook until browned and flip.
11) Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

a) Feel free to double the recipe to use the entire spaghetti squash. If not, you can saute the remaining squash with vegetables, meat, or whatever you like.
b) If you have it, you can substitute olive oil with coconut oil.
c) Try cooking the spaghetti squash the night before if you have time.
d) If you mixture seems wet, add almond meal little by little to thicken it up.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Black Bean Red Pepper Salsa

This is so good! I wanted to toss something on top of my tilapia for lunch and I whipped this up in under 5 minutes!
It tastes great hot but chilled is just as good! Would pair nicely with raw veggies as a dip, whole grain pita or pretzels! Mmmm!

3/4 cup black beans, rinsed
1/2 red pepper
1/4 large onion
3/4 cup corn, cooked or fresh
3-4 stems cilantro
Fresh Lemon
2tsp olive oil
Sea salt
Chili powder
Dried Basil
Dried Parsley

1) Coat the base of the frying pan in olive oil. Heat on medium.
2) Chop the onion and red pepper into small chunks. Add to frying pan.
3) Allow pepper and onion to cook for 4-5 minutes or until the chunks begin to soften slightly.
4) Add corn and black beans.Cook for 4-5 more minutes stirring frequently.
5) While the beans and corn cook, chop cilantro into small pieces and add.
6) Add dry seasonings to taste. I added 2-3 "shakes" of each seasoning and ground the salt grinder twice.
7)Stir in all seasonings and remove from heat.
8) Squeeze lemon juice on top and mix in.


1) Cook frozen corn in advance and drain before using in this recipe. Fresh corn would work perfectly.
2) If you dislike cilantro, you can omit it. The flavor will vary slightly but still will be delicious!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

No-Bake Energy Bites

I have been seeing lots of energy bites on Pinterest and decided to give them a try. I felt guilty about making cookies, so I made these as a way to gets sweet fix without interfering with my lifestyle.

These can be made many different ways, so find what you like and run with it!

1 cup dry oats (I used a mutli-oat mix that can be purchased at Trader Joes.
3/4 creamy peanut butter or nut butter
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup sliced almonds, crushed
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon

1)In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Using a spatula, continuously fold ingredients until completely mixed. The mixture will not be completely stick together.
2) Scoop out tablespoon sized mounds and roll into a ball. You may need to use your hands and pack the balls tightly so they won't fall apart.
3) Store in an airtight container, makes about 20-25 bites.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey everyone! Occasionally I will post a recipe for something unhealthy..... I know it isn't the theme of my blog but I enjoy baking with old school recipes that sometimes call for ingredients that aren't favorable to a nutritious diet. That being said, I bake like this once in a blue moon! I spotted a bag of mint chocolate chip morsels right after the holidays and knew immediately that I'd make cookies for my fiancé because he LOVES mint chocolate combinations (which I do not- so these are just for him! <3)

I am not sure if these chocolate morsels are always available and if not you can use regular chocolate chips. This recipes makes a tasty cookie.

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup mint chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir so it mixes well.
3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream sugar, butter, egg and vanilla until fluffy.
4) While mixer is on, slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until well combined.
5) Fold in chocolate chips.
6) Scoop out desired amounts of batter onto a greased cookie sheet.
7) Bake for about 13 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.
8) Let cool on a rack.
9) Enjoy!

- Ways to make these lighter: use wheat flour instead of white flour, use egg beaters instead of eggs, substitute apple sauce for oil.
- You can also use a silpat instead of greasing a pan.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Paleo Pancakes!

So, one of my best friends asked me about the Paleo Diet recently. She was interested in the "clean eating" aspect and I started to look into it. The diet is basically a caveman diet, with foods consumed that are not processed, treated or filled with chemicals. It is mostly organic and low carbohydrate from the lack of breads allowed.

These pancakes are light and you won't think you will get full but all the protein makes this satisfying and so easy to make!

I started researching recipes, etc. and found an Instagram profile of a girl who follows it but also plates the food beautifully. I started following her profile and she is pretty awesome. So I took one of her pancake recipes and altered it slightly. She is pretty fantastic though and I suggest you check out her blog:

Okay, here is my rendition of the pancakes:

1 banana
2 tbsp organic peanut butter
1 tbsp organic cashew butter
2 tbsp almond meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
Crushed walnut optional
Maple syrup optional

In a food processor, purée banana, nut butters, almond meal, cinnamon and honey until well mixed (about 20 seconds).
Preheat a skillet and pour small saucer size amounts on to skillet.
When edges begin to bubble, carefully flip.

Cooks about 6-7 pancakes. 3= a serving

Sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle syrup if desired (not necessary though!).

So good and surprisingly filling!

Make sure the pancakes are small because they are kind of hard to flip.
I cooked mine in an Orgreenic pan which allowed me to avoid using butter!
Next time ill cook up some apples and use that instead of syrup!

Enjoy & let me know if you make them!

Have a delicious day!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Heavenly Chocolate Bites

Last night I prepared a little dinner for my closest friends! A dinner party at my house is a big deal to me no matter what the occasion. I decided to make a lovely chicken cacciatore, Italian bread, salad and dessert. I decided to turn to Pinterest to get inspired and it worked!

This little bites of chocolate heaven are delicious and part of a clean eating diet. The only ingredient that wasn't clean in the actual bites I made was the chocolate because I didn't have any raw cocoa nibs. So here goes! Enjoy!

2/3 cup cooked steel oats, hot
1.5 cup sliced almonds
2tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Combine hot oats, almonds, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, honey and flour in a stand mixer bowl.
3) When all ingredients are thoroughly mixed, slowly add chocolate chips on medium speed.
4) The heat from the oats will cause some of the chocolate to melt. Mix for about 15-20 seconds until mixture is dark brown and mixed well.
5) Form small mounds about 1tbsp each onto a cookie sheet lined with a baking mat, parchment paper or greased.
6) Bake for 20 minutes. The cookies will not look much different than prior to baking.
7) Allow cookies to cool completely before serving.

1) If you don't have a stand mixer, prepare all ingredients in advance and combine quickly to ensure chocolate melts. Stir by hand for about a minute to ensure the batter is mixed properly.
2) Chocolate chips and regular honey will also work for this recipe.

Have a delicious day!