Tag Archives: dinner

Spicy Black Bean Sweet Potato Bowl

When there aren’t many groceries in the house and you start searching for whatever you can put together, and you come up with this little gem.

I found a can of organic spicy black beans, an avocado, and a sweet potato.  Add some olive oil, everything but the bagel seasoning, and salt and pepper ….WAH-LAH!! DINNER!! This would also be great with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro. I, unfortunately, didn’t have any.

This super easy vegetarian bowl has all the protein, good fats and fiber you need, not to mention vitamins…..Added BONUS…YUMMY!!!

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Ingredients:

1 sweet potato peeled and sliced.

1 can organic spicy black beans

1/2 avocado

sprinkle as much of “everything but the bagel” as you want

 

Directions:

  1. heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. using a nonstick cookie sheet, place sliced sweet potato out flat and cover with a light coat of olive oil sprinkle “everything but the bagel” on potatoes. Bake until tender..aproximately 20-25 minutes.
  3. warm up black beans either in the microwave or small sauce pan.
  4. when potatoes are done..assemble!
  5. its that easy!!! and the flavors are great together! Sweet and spicy!!

Vegetarian Zoodles with mushroom and feta.

Have you tried zoodles yet?

Zucchini noodles are a HUGE hit in our house, so I definitely think it’s worth giving them a shot if you haven’t tried them yet! They’re great to use in place of pasta for a lighter/fresher option (also perfect if you’re eating paleo or gluten-free). And with these fresh ingredients, I picked from the garden, you can’t go wrong!!

Zucchini, Basil, and tomato I got right from my back yard. Add a couple of store bought items and you have a delicious and economical lunch or dinner.

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Ingredients:

2  Zucchini

1  cup baby bella mushrooms

1/2 red onion

3-4 basil leaves

1/4 cup feta cheese

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons “everything but the bagel” seasoning

salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

  1. spiralize your zucchini ( there are many great spiralizers but I use a hand held) set aside
  2. saute onion, mushrooms, and garlic until onion starts to look clear
  3. add zoodles and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Stirring throughout. long enough for them to get warm but not mushy.
  4. add tomato about 1 minute into cooking noodles. (I’m not a fan of a mushy tomato.)
  5. remove from stove add more “everything but the bagel” seasoning, feta, basil, salt, and pepper. It’s that simple!! Enjoy!

 

Red Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Loving this delicious Red Buddha Bowl that I just through together with the ingredients I had in my garden and fridge. I had made 4 cups of red quinoa ( which if you have ever made quinoa you know that makes A LOT of quinoa!!) so that I can have it throughout the week. I grabbed some ripe tomatoes, basil from the garden, and beets I had roasted for when my daughter comes to visit. She recently just discovered them and loves them and I love them too so wahlah!! roasted a quick batch real quick. I found the easiest  Roasted Beets recipe on Pinterest.  Try this healthy and delicious vegetarian recipe.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup cooked red quinoa or regular quinoa( directions in link above)

4 cherry tomatoes

1/3 avocado

2 roasted beets (follow the how to link above)

3-4 basil leaves

broccoli sprouts

crumbled feta cheese

1/4 tsp of “everything but the bagel”

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

  1. add all ingredients into your favorite bowl ( arrange however you please)
  2. sprinkle with everything but the bagel seasoning, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. enjoy!!

Vegetarian Tostada w/ spicy black beans and cilantro lime tomatoes

First, let me say, I am about 70/30 % vegetarian. I do occasionally eat meat ( filet!! YUMMMMMMM!!) but for the most part, I do not.  This recipe just came from a Hodge podge of ingredients I happened to have in my kitchen. I am always mixing and matching ingredients. Sometimes they are a HIT and sometimes… YUK. This one was delicious and super easy and would be delicious with shredded chicken.

Ingredients:

1 Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla

1 14.5oz can of red gold Lime and cilantro diced tomatoes

1 can of spicy black beans

as much or as little spinach as you like

as much or as little Colby jack cheese as you like

Jalapeno, cilantro and sour cream as a topper ~ again, to taste

1/2 tsp everything but the bagel seasoning

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Directions:

  1. in a small sauce pan, on low, warm up beans and tomatoes together
  2.  toast tortilla in toaster oven or oven, until 1/2 to desired crispiness.
  3. add cheese to tortilla and put back in toaster until desired crispiness.
  4. remove tortilla from toaster add spinach, black beans & tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and sour cream.
  5. sprinkle everything but the bagel seasoning on top

Cucumber Quinoa Salad with Feta

Doesn’t it feel so easy to cook this time of year?!? I wouldn’t even consider this salad cooking if you ask me.

I don’t know about you, but I take one glance at the rainbow of beautiful summer veggies available at the farmers market ( and my garden) feels like .. Wham! .. an instant inspiration to want to run home and cook something fresh and healthy!  Don’t you?

With all of the fresh greens in season lately, I’ve been making kale and spinach and spring greens salads galore, which always feel so good.  But for something different tonight, I decided to make a refreshing cucumber salad.  I have cucumbers and tomatoes in abundance lately, so I grabbed some from the garden and tossed it with some fresh basil, ( also from the garden) red onion, and feta I had on hand.  And then added in some quinoa for extra protein, and tossed it all with a simple lemony vinaigrette.Screenshot 2017-07-23 at 4.34.15 PM

 

The result?

fresh, fun, and fantabulously flavorful salad that I already can’t wait to make again!

 

CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it’s SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. Perfect for a side dish but it’s my dinner tonight!

 

INGREDIENTS:

CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups chilled* cooked quinoa (see this tutorial for how to cook quinoa) I usually make a large batch to have throughout the week.
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup julienned or roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 batch Lemony Italian vinaigrette (see below)

LEMONY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS:

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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Trader Joes “everything but the bagel” seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
  • pinch of Himalayan salt and black pepper or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD:

  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.  Serve immediately.

TO MAKE THE LEMONY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.

Avocado Feta Spinach Salad

Salads are so good for you and super easy to make but the best part for me is to try and make them pretty. Here are some nutrition facts about some of the ingredients.

Avocado is considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet as it contains in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Avocado also contains fiber, protein, and several beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein, which may protect against various disease and illness.Image result for images of goji berries

Goji Berries have similar benefits you get from eating other berries, goji berries are loaded with beta-carotene (a pigment found in plants and fruits) which helps promote healthy skin. They have also been known to help boost the immune system and protect the eyes — talk about a super fruit. And like other berries, goji berries are also an excellent source of vitamin C and can reduce tough cold symptoms.

Goji berries are an excellent source of antioxidants because of their oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value.

As a plus, goji berries are low in calories, fat-free and are packed with fiber — which also helps you manage weight and go the bathroom on a regular basis.

Mangoes contain a high amount of the carotenoid compound beta-carotene.

Mangoes are a low-fat, low-calorie, cholesterol-free source of a variety of nutrients, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber and antioxidant compounds. If your diet includes rich sources of these nutrients regularly, you may be less likely to develop many serious medical conditions.

Originally cultivated in India, mangoes are now more widely eaten than any other fruit in the world, according to Fruits & Veggies More Matters. In the United States, ripe mangoes are typically consumed raw, dried or cooked in chutneys or pies.

 

 Ingredients:

All ingredients are approx. Its a SALAD not a baked good. 🙂 Just have fun!

1-2 handfuls of  spinach

1/3 mango

1-2 baby carrots, chopped or sliced

2-4 cherry tomatoes cut in half

1-2 teaspoon red onion

2-3 teaspoons goji berries

1 tbsp feta or to taste

1/3 tsp of chia seeds

cilantro for garnish

For the dressing:

1/2 a lemon juiced

2 tbsp olive oil

Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. put all ingredients into your favorite bowl and arrange however you please
  2. whisk all ingredients for dressing in a mixing bowl and pour over salad
  3. ENJOY!

 

A Journey to Functional Nutrition, Part 1

Food is important in our lives and critical to our overall well-being. Consider healthy eating as a journey, one that has been shaped by many situations in your life. These factors include your stages of life, preferences, access to food, culture, family traditions, and the personal decisions you’ve made over time.The important thing to remember is that all of your food and beverage choices count. That being said, don’t beat yourself up if you have been less than stellar in your food choices because you can always improve.

And that brings us to the meat of this blog. 🙂

When it comes to nutrition, focus on your diet quality. That means enhancing your functional foods intake, which are foods that have a potentially positive effect on your health beyond just basic nutrition. Functional foods promote optimal health and help reduce your risk of disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. One example of a functional food would be oatmeal because it has soluble fiber that can help lower your cholesterol levels. Begin to think more about what you eat each day and avoid eating on the run, which is when we’re more likely to make poor choices. Try to plan ahead and provide the quality of the nutrients your body needs: protein, good carbs, good fats, vitamins, and minerals.

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You should try to get about 40 to 60 percent of calories from good carbs, 25 to 40 percent from fat, and 15 to 30 percent from protein. Of course,  no single diet is perfect for everyone, foods that are low in saturated fat with a moderate amount of protein is good, as you probably already know. Include plant-based foods such as nuts, soybeans, and legumes into your daily diet, as they are super important sources of protein, according to nutrition experts at Food Matters.

A nutritionally balanced diet may have moderate amounts of fish, and poultry. You may want to explore some of the benefits of reducing if not eliminating red meat and reducing or eliminating poultry and sugar. Most vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which is associated with a reduced risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer. If you decide to go the vegetarian route, however, make sure that you don’t become deficient in vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy brain function. Eggs, wild caught salmon, nutritional yeast, and sardines are all good examples of foods that contain B12.

I will definitely get into more functional foods at a later date because there are so many more to explore.

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Importance of Protein

Protein is very important in our diet since it’s is the main building block of our body. It is used to build muscles, tendons, organs, and skin. Proteins help build enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various molecules that serve important functions in our bodies. Proteins are made out of smaller molecules called amino acids, and they link together to form long protein chains. Some can be produced by the body, while we have to get others from our diet. The ones we can’t produce and have to get from the food we eat are called the “essential amino acids.”Soybeans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, brown rice, whole wheat, corn and nuts such as almonds and cashews are good sources of branched-chain amino acids. Of all the plant-based foods, beans have the highest amount of total protein, so they’re the best choice. One cup of vegetarian baked beans has about 1 gram of each of the BCAAs.  According to nutrition experts,  Protein has 4 calories per gram. The optimal amount of protein in the diet is up for debate, but most experts suggest that adults get a minimum of 7-8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight.

The recommended daily allowance of protein for women is 46grams and 56 grams for men. Your specific protein needs can vary, especially if you are exercising intensely on a regular basis. In that case, your protein intake needs to be higher. Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein and a huge staple in my diet. You’ll notice I have eggs in a lot of my recipes. Recent studies show eggs do not affect Cholesterol. So feel free to eat them.

Not to much Dairy

Where milk, cheese, and plain yogurt are good sources of protein. I prefer to stay away from the white stuff and get a lot of my protein from plants. Try to be creative and consider other ways to get additional calcium, including broccoli, spinach, swiss chard and any dark leafy greens.

Carbs for fuel

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Carbohydrates are your body’s main fuel source, and they help make an overall healthy diet. They provide energy, protect against disease, and can help you control your weight. Again, quality matters. The type of carbs in your diet is more important than the amount of carbs in your diet. Some sources of carbs, like vegetables (not potatoes), fruits, whole grains, and beans, are healthier than others. You should be shooting for 200 and 325 grams of carbs a day.

As we all know eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help you control your weight. The bulk and fiber content helps weight control by helping you feel full on fewer calories. Choose whole grains such as steel cut oats rather than refined grams. Eat more legumes, which include beans, peas, and lentils. They are low in fat and high in folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium, plus they have beneficial fats and fiber. Legumes are a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more saturated fat and cholesterol.

I can’t cover all nutrition facts in one blog ( or we will be here all day) but you can enhance your health by making sure you are focusing on quality nutrients.  Even if you haven’t had good nutritional habits in your past, your body can adjust quickly to new healthy habits. So don’t’ beat yourself up….Just move forward. Tomorrow is a new day!!

 

 I am going to leave you with a few tips! Don’t do them all at once. Crowd out the bad and add in the good at your own pace.

1.Choose healthier protein sources such as fish, broccoli, nuts, and legumes

2. Eat foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids (polyunsaturated fats) such as Salmon, flax seed oil and spinach
3. Avoid sugary beverages and get rid of all sodas, including diet ones
4. Shoot for quality ingredients, locally grown and organic when possible

5. Crowd out processed plant foods (eat raw when possible)

6. Drink plenty of clean and safe water, ( I like to add lemon to mine for taste and vitamin C) and be mindful of proper hydration when you are working out
#9: Use healthy oils and grass fed butter.

WISHING YOU A HEALTHY JOURNEY!

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