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

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 🙂

Curried Ginger Red Lentil and Quinoa Soup


I started a ten day Kundalini yoga workshop on Tuesday night. It begins at 4:30 am in Buffalo so I have been setting my alarm at 3:15 am. It’s only been three days, but so far I am seeing incredible changes in my body and mental state. I have not had the desire to eat meat and have been eating vegan the past few days and feel seriously incredible. I highly recommend this soup for anyone, the smell filled up my whole house and was truly divine. The lentils, quinoa and chickpeas jam pack this soup with protein. I had it  again for lunch today and feel so full but in a good way, not the I need to go nap way. I hope you enjoy, happy hump day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large organic carrots, peeled and diced
  • 5 stalks organic celery, chopped
  • 3 organic cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 lb red lentils
  • 3 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 (28oz) can organic diced tomatoes
  •  2 bay leaves
  • 1 (15oz) can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of tabouleh (Optional: I went to Pita Gourmet for lunch and had a side of it, so I threw it in)

Steps:

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onions, carrot and celery, sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and curry powder, sauté for about a minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils, broth, tomatoes, tabouleh  and bay leaves.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5.  Add chickpeas and quinoa, heat through.  Season with salt and pepper, and red chili flakes (if you like spice) to taste and adjust seasoning as needed. unnamed (1)

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!

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Red Cabbage Slaw


I served this with BBQ pork tacos, but it would be great alone as a snacky. Vegan and super delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 red cabbage or a bag of 10 oz bag of shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup e.v.o.o
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 green onions diced (or however many you prefer)
  • 1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed

Steps:

1.) Combine all of the ingredients and SHAKE!

2.) The longer you let it sit the better it will be, store in glass! photo 1-1

The Famous Maving’s Cheese Ball


When I first started dating my fiance I quickly learned of the cheese ball tradition. His family gets together a lot, and for every occasion there must ALWAYS be a cheese ball. I knew I would fit in immediately after I tasted this cheese ball. Three simple ingredients of glorious-ness. I won’t lie to you kids this is in no way healthy, and I know I like to say everything in moderation, but that goes out the window when it comes to the cheese ball. It’s fregan addicting and its so hard to walk away. God’s speed!

Ingredients:

  • 3 packets of cream cheese
  • 1 2.5 oz jar of dried beef
  • 1 bunch of scallions -choppedunnamed

Steps:

  1. Start by dicing the scallions.
  2. Cut the beef into tiny little squares (see pic)
  3. Take out the cream cheese and roll the ingredients into the cheese ball making sure its well mixed
  4. Reserve some of the dried beef and scallions for the very end so you can roll the outer layer in that as well.
  5. Serve with crackers, my favorite are Triscuits with sea salt or Wheat Thins. fs

Buttnernut Squash


I stole this recipe from Wegman’s. It was so delicious and healthy, a perfect side for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pkgs (20 oz each)
  • 2 large red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp basting oil
  • 1 pkg (6 oz) spinach
  • 3/4 cup  sweetened dried cranberries

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss squash and onions with basting oil in large bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper
  2. Arrange in single layer on large baking sheet. Roast 25- 30 min, until tender and brown. Remove from oven.
  3. Toss squash, spinach, and dried cranberries in large shallow serving dish. unnamed

Cranberry sauce


This was the first time I made fresh cranberries! They looked so beautiful in the pan and were so easy to make. My sister, Tess came up with the genius idea to sprinkle some orange rind into the sauce for an extra boost of flavor. I decided to use an ingredient called sucanat, that my reflexologist told me about.

Ingredients:as

  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 orangeunnamed

Steps:

1.) Start by adding the sucanat and water to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.

2.) Add the cranberries, bring to a boil and add the grate the orange rind into the dish (to taste, less is better you can always add more!)

3.) Reduce heat to medium and cover, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

4.) Place in a dish and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until served.

Fruit Bruschetta with Goat Cheese


Today was the Grand Opening for Pure Barre Buffalo!! I thought this appetizer would be a fun way to celebrate! I only used a tiny smear of goat cheese, and a little bread in moderation is alright by me. I was actually surprised to learn that goat cheese is one of the healthier cheeses out there. I always thought it was one of the worst! This article talks about the health benefits of goat cheese in comparison to others. Such a sweet and savory appetizer!

Ingredients:

  • 1 mango’s, finely diced
  • 8 strawberries, hulled and finely diced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 pineapple ring slices, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons red onion, finely diced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, softened
  • olive oil for drizzle
  • 1 10 oz. bag of chopped baguette (try to find whole grain if you can)photo-18

Steps:

  1. Start by finely chopping the mango’s (peel first), strawberries, tomatoes (quartered), chopped basil, red onion and place into a bowl.
  2. Add the garlic powder and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place the baguette pieces onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, place under the broiler until slightly browned (2-3 minutes).
  4. Evenly spread the softened goat cheese over the toasted baguette.
  5. Top each baguette with a the fruit mixture.blog2

Fall Vegetable Curry


I decided to start trying out some side dishes for Thanksgiving last night. This recipe was so simple with very few ingredients and was bursting with flavor!

Ingredients: photo1

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1/2 small onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflower (chop into smaller pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz. can of organic garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 cup boxed or jarred chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro paste or fresh cilantro to sprinkle
  • 2 cups fresh chopped spinach
  • Greek yogurt for topping
  • 1 pomegranate *Don’t mind my legwarmers, just came from Pure Barre 🙂

Steps:

  1. Start by peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes. Add the olive oil to a medium sized skillet and turn heat to medium high, add the sweet potatoes. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Decrease the heat to medium and add the onions, cauliflower, tumeric, cumin, cilantro paste (if using fresh just sprinkle it on top of your plate at the end) and curry powder, cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper and garbanzo beans.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Take a pomegranate and cut in half, take the one half and squeeze and mix some fresh juice into the dish. Take the other half and get all of the seeds out and sprinkle on top of the dish at the very end.
  6. Add the spinach right before serving, simply fold it into the dish so that it absorbs and wilts down.
  7. Add a dollop of green yogurt, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and fresh cilantro (if using).photo