Zucchini Bites


I have always shied away from picking the larger zucchini out of my dad’s garden. I prefer the smaller to medium sized ones. However my dad convinced me that the large ones were just as good as long as you prepare it correctly. So he cut them into large slices and seasoned them and put them on the grill. He was right they were totally awesome. Last night after a weekend of eating lots of carbs and dairy my husband and I were in need of a lighter meal. These could be served as an appetizer or as a main dish. We had about 3 each and we were stuffed! The dish was bursting with delicious flavors and only took about 25 minutes to make! veggies

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium red onion (large dices)
  • 1 box of 13.4 oz cannellini beans (I highly recommend these!)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic (I love garlic- you can use less if you prefer)
  • 1 large zucchini (cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • Italian seasonings (as needed)
  • Garlic powder (as needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar (as needed)
  • Olive oil (as needed)
  • 1 large tomato thinly sliced
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • 8 cups loosely packed spinach
  • Red chili pepper flakes (to taste)
  • ¼ cup of filtered waterspinach

Steps:

  • Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In the meantime- take 3 teaspoons of olive oil and heat in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to caramelize, add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Set aside.
  • Take a deeper pan and put ¼ cups of water in it add the spinach and cover over low heat until spinach has wilted and immediately remove from heat.
  • Add the beans, onion and garlic to the spinach and mix- add salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasonings to taste. Cover to keep warm.
  • When the oven has heated up to 400 take the sliced zucchini and lightly baste in olive oil (Wegman’s basting oil would be really good!), drizzle balsamic vinegar, sprinkle garlic powder, and Italian seasonings. Do this to both sides of the zucchini.
  • Place in oven for 10 minutes or until it’s fork tender, take out and add the tomatoes. Turn oven on a low broil and put back in for 5-7 minutes or until zucchini has started to brown and the tomatoes have started to roast.
  • Take the spinach bean mixture and add to the to top of the zucchini, sprinkle parmesan cheese and red chili flakes!final image

Lentil Quinoa Salad


When I was visiting my sister in NYC last month we had lunch at this cute restaurant. My sister Tess ordered the lentil salad and I immediately wished that I had ordered it as well. The arugula paired perfectly with the lentils and fresh squeezed lemon- such refreshing flavors! After eating poorly this past weekend I wanted something light for dinner and this salad seemed like the perfect option. This salad would also be amazing with sliced avocados. Lentils and Quinoa are full of fiber, whole grains, and protein! Quinoa is a fiber-rich whole grain as well as a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. As far as the quantity of each ingredients it’s a salad so its really just personal preference of how much you would like!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Inca red organic quinoa (cooked according to package directions; there will be leftovers)
  • 1 cup dried green lentils (cook according to package directions; there will be leftovers)
  • Organic grape tomatoes (cut into fours)
  • Red onion (chopped to your preference)
  • 1 large spear of organic asparagus (cut off the ends and wash)
  • Lemons
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Organic arugula (the store didn’t have just arugula so I used a blend of arugula, spinach and radicchio)
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Steps:

  1. Start by cooking the quinoa and lentils according to package directions, Strain the lentils when they’re cooked and let cool. Pour the e.v.o.o on the cooked quinoa and let cool as well.
  2. Turn your grill on medium to high heat and spray with olive oil, spray the asparagus and place on grill, cover grill, let cook for five minutes and turn over and cook for five minutes and remove.
  3. Take the desired amount of arugula onto your plate, add the desired amount of quinoa, lentils, onion, tomatoes and asparagus onto your plate as well. Grate lemon zest over your plate, sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper and squeeze lemon juice all over. Image

Interesting article

Spicy Red Lentil Soup


Wegman’s always has such a great variety of soup. A few years ago I tried their spicy red lentil chili and was blown away! To my delight they had the recipe online and I have been making this soup ever since. The recipe calls for some things I don’t cook with like cornstarch and butter so I have made my own adjustments to make this soup healthier and easier to make. You really don’t need to add a thickener to this soup because the lentils expand so much it makes the soup thick on it’s own. Also always remember that food is customizable so for the tobasco and seasonings you can alter them according to your tastebuds! I added a few drop of the tobasco in each bowl I served because I happen to love spice. This large pot of soup costs under $10.00 to make and its so filling, cant beat that 😉

Ingredients:

Sorry about my kitty's head
Sorry about my kitty’s head
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 large Tbsp Earth Balance spread
  • 1/2 cup white onion- diced
  • 1 cup scallions- finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery -diced ( I throw the leaves in for flavor)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves- diced (I love garlic you can add less if you’d like)
  • 1 medium tomato- cored and diced
  • 1 large green pepper -finely diced
  • 1 large carrot- peeled and finely diced
  • 6 cups veggie stock (you can make your own or use store bought)
  • 1 Tbsp Tobasco sauce
  • 1/2 tsp  turmeric (“few sprinkles”)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (“”)
  • 1/2 tsp  chili powder (“”)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (one sprinkle)
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Start by pouring the veggie broth into a large pot along with the lentils over medium to high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring ocasioanlly and turn heat down to medium low and cover loosely.photo 2
  2. In a seperate skillet add the earth balance spread over medium to high heat let melt, add the scallions and onions and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes, add the garlic and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the finely diced carrots, celery, peppers and tomatoes into the skillet and let cook down for 7-8 minutes over medium heat, stirring freqeuntly.photo 3
  4. Pour the veggie mixture into the pot with the lentils. Add your spices; tumeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the tobasco
  5. Stir all of the ingredients together, let cook over medium to low heat, loosely covered for about 40 minutes, stirring ocasioanlly. photo 4photo 5

Loaded Vegan Sweet Potato


I was feeling very inspired yesterday and wanted to make something with really pure ingredients. I absolutely love mushrooms, but unfortunately my main squeeze does not. I decided last night that I wanted to get back together with mushrooms and I did just that. They were so good. This dish was seriously satisfying, I feel very lucky that my fiancé not only eats meals like this but actually embraces and enjoys them. I love to cook for him because he has such a great appetite for healthy food, and how awesome is that? Happy Friday!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic broccoli- rinsed and diced
  • 1 cup organic baby bella mushrooms-rinsed and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 5-6 leaves of organic kales- rinsed and chopped
  • 1 15 oz can organic BPA free can of black beans- rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 organic avocado -diced
  • olive oil as needed
  • 4 organic sweet potatoes – washed and poke holes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves organic fresh garlic-diced
  • 1 tablespoon of an all spice herb (I used 21 spice by Trader Joe’s)

Steps:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees, bake the sweet potatoes for about 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium to high heat, add the garlic, stirring frequently for about 2-3 minutes, add the scallions and let cook for another 3-5 minutes, continue stirring.
  3. Add the kale and turn the heat down to medium, stirring occasionally, cook for about 5 minutes or until kale begins to wilt.
  4. Add the beans, mushrooms (I had mine in a separate pot because of my fiancé), salt, pepper and spice blend.
  5. When the sweet potatoes are ready, cut open with a knife and place the veggie mixture on top! Add the avocado, and some feta cheese if you eat cheese 🙂

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls


I came across this recipe on Facebook yesterday and I immediately knew I had to try it out for dinner. I realize a lot of people don’t like cabbage, but I absolutely love it! I love Patty’s Day for one reason; corned beef and cabbage, oh and the excuse to drink a lot of beer.  Cabbage is amazing for you, it actually detoxifies your body. You can read more about the health benefits of cabbage here. This dish was easy to make, the hardest part was just dicing the peppers, onion and cabbage and the rest really just took care of itself. This recipe serves about 6-8 people, so needless to say this will be my lunch today! This dish can be served over brown rice or quinoa but in my opinion was amazing without any carbs. Enjoy! unnamed1

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lean organic turkey
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small cabbage, chopped
  • 1 28 oz can organic (no BPA) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 organic peppers (red and green)
  •  Ground black pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Red chili pepper flakes to taste (we like it spicy)

Steps:

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground turkey, water, onion and cook, stirring, breaking up the ground turkey until it is no longer pink and onion is tender.
  2. Add the garlic and peppers and continue cooking for a few minutes.
  3. Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, chili flakes and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.unnamed

Vegetable Rice Medley


Yesterday I drove to Pennsylvania to spend the night at Splash Lagoon with my dad, brother and his friends. The hotel room had a full kitchen so I decided to make a quick stop to Wegman’s to cook something nice for my daddy.  I was inspired by a greek stuffed peppers recipe I found, but completely changed it around. If I do say so myself this is one of the best meals that I have ever come up with, and I highly recommend trying this dish out!

  • 2 15.5 oz cans organic great northern beans or small white beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 10 oz bags of frozen long grain brown rice
  • 2 lemons squeezed
  • 5 peppers (orange, red and yellow- cut the top off, take the seeds out and wash)
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill (amount depends on your preference)
  •  1 bunch fresh curly parsley (amount depends on your preference)
  • Garlic sea salt to taste
  • 1.5 cups organic vegetable broth
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 oz can of organic tomato paste
  • 2 organic zucchinis (yellow and green) chopped
  • 1 large white onion (diced)
  • 1 pt organic cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 8oz packet of organic baby bella mushrooms

Steps:

  1. Start by preheating oven to 350, add the peppers upright and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the veggie broth into a large skillet, add the onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Take the peppers out of the oven and cut into bite sized pieced and add into the pot.
  4. Add the garlic sea salt, pepper, lemon, tomato paste, beans, dill, and parsley. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Heat up the rice in the microwave (2 minutes per bag) *I use this frozen rice to save time on weeknights, and the only ingredient in it is the rice, so I’m not compromising convenience for health. However if you prefer to cook the rice, feel free!
  6. Add the rice into the pot, uncover and turn heat up to medium, cook for 5-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy! unnamed

Veggie quinoa enchiladas with spinach


I was craving Mexican yesterday and in honor of meatless Monday I decided to make veggie quinoa enchiladas. After searching the web for awhile I came across this amazing blog and found countless healthy delicious recipes.  I hope I can get my blog up to this level of awesomeness one day! I went to Trader Joe’s (I am completely obsessed) last night and discovered that they had pre-cooked frozen quinoa. I was over the moon about this find, mainly because usually when something is “easier” to make you pay the price  with preservatives and artificial ingredients, but Trader Joe’s somehow finds a way to sell convenient foods without such things. The box was $3.99 so naturally I stocked up on these bad boys to have as a staple in my freezer! This dish was insanely filling and delicious!

Ingredients:unnamed

  • 1 cup organic uncooked quinoa (I used frozen)
  • 1 organic onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 organic red pepper, diced
  • 2-3 organic roma tomatoes, diced
  • 6 oz. organic spinach
  • 4 oz. can organic mild green chiles
  • 15 oz. can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of adobo
  • 1 cup organic salsa
  • 2-3 cups enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (or dairy-free cheese)
  • 8 large tortillas (I just did 3 tortillas for my fiance and I and saved the quinoa mixture for leftovers)


Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  3. In a small pot, make the enchilada sauce. (Omit this step if using store-bought.)
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion, red pepper, and garlic for 5 minutes.unnamed1unnamed2
  5. Add spinach and saute another couple minutes until spinach is wilted.
  6. Add cooked quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, green chiles, spices, and salsa. Stir to combine and cook until heated through. Salt/pepper to taste.
  7. Place a small amount of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  8. Divide filling evenly among tortillas, roll up with ends tucked in, and place seam side down in the dish.
  9. Pour remaining enchilada sauce on top, sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 30 minutes.

    Picture taken from http://www.thegardengrazer.com- go check it out!


Veggie lentil stew


After an amazing yoga class I was craving something hearty and healthy on this cold February day. I stopped at Wegman’s and grabbed a rotisserie chicken and a bag of stew veggies and headed home. The rest of the ingredients I had in my pantry and decided to throw in there to make a delicious and EASY soup. The soup took about 30 minutes to make and now I have a yummy lunch option for this week. I hope all of you are enjoying your Sunday- cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 2  15oz cans of organic lentils
  • 1 40 oz packet of stew vegetables (if you don’t have a Wegman’s nearby the bag contains  a total of 10 cups of potatoes, carrots, onions and celery) Dice the veggies to a smaller size!
  • 1 24 oz bag of french green beans, diced to your preference
  • 1 yellow zucchini, diced
  • 6 fresh garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 15oz can of organic diced tomatoes
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 32 fl oz of organic low sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • Optional item: rotisserie chicken with the skin off, and diced

Steps:

  1. Start by pouring the chicken or veggie broth into a large pot, add the diced veggies (potatoes, carrots, onions and celery), add the tomatoes, lentils, garlic, zucchini. Keep heat at medium/high.
  2. Add the garlic powder and salt, salt and pepper and cover turn heat to medium/low and let cook for 20 minutes.
  3. If you would like to add chicken to the dish, prepare that now. I used a rotisserie chicken, took the skin off and diced the white meat into smaller chunks. Add the chicken after the 20 minutes is up and uncover, continue cooking on low for 15-20 more minutes. photo-19

Slow Cooker Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew


Hello all- it’s Tess, Taylor’s sister here, guest blogging today! My baby sis definitely has the magic touch in the kitchen, but I am trying to keep up with her! As mentioned in her previous posts, I am currently participating in the Healthy Bitch Daily Get Healthy Challenge, which has had me experimenting more in the kitchen. Yesterday I made a yummy red lentil and sweet potato stew- check out the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, trimmed and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups split red lentils
  • 1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ box of organic baby kale

Steps: 

  1. Combine all ingredients except the kale in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. (I cooked mine for 9 hours, but it’s really a personal preference.)
  2. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, add the kale to slow cooker.
  3. Turn the slow cooker off.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I topped my stew off with vegan white cheddar kale chips for a little crunch! Some fresh cilantro would also go nice.

Note: next time around I would add some celery to the stew and maybe a little less sweet potatoes. Some people may also prefer less garlic than I added, but I love it. Either way- it was delicious!

Image

Butter Bean and Kale “Pasta”


This was another dish inspired by my sister Tess from her Get Healthy Challenge. This dish is completely vegan, the butter beans gave it a creamy texture and it had the most amazing flavor. I was feeling creative last night when I was at Wegmans and just grabbed ingredients I thought would flow well together. I’m so glad it turned out well!

Ingredients: unnamed

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 box of Kamut and Quinoa twisted pair
  • 1 heaping tbsp. minced garlic
  • 10-12 organic grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can (15.5oz) of butter beans
  • 1/2 lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. e.v.o.o
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • 2 tbsp. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 artichokes chopped
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Red chili pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1.5 cup water

Steps:

  1. Start by adding the e.v.o.o to a large skillet and set at medium-high heat, after about a minute or two (or until the oil has heated up) add the onions, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and reduce heat to medium, cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, butter beans, parsley, lemon, capers, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and let cook for about 10 minutes on medium to low heat, stirring occasionally.unnamed1
  3. In the meantime cook the Kamut and Quinoa twisted pair according to package directions.
  4. Add the water and kale to the skillet and cover over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until the kale has wilted, add the pepper and red pepper chili flakes as desired.
  5. Serve over the “pasta” and enjoy! unnamed2