Archive for the ‘ Recipes ’ Category

 

Quinoa Pasta with Lazy Girl’s “Pesto”

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I first fell in love with pesto when I studied abroad in Italy one summer during college. Nothing compares to the delicious blend of basil, walnuts, garlic and freshly shaved parmesan cheese. While I love pesto, I don’t cook with it as much as I’d like to because a.) I’m not a huge fan of store-bought varieties and b.) making your own can be quite a mess. (Side note: I will most likely be making my own more now that I own a Vitamix!)

For those of you who enjoy pesto, but aren’t in the mood to battle with your food processor, this recipe is for you. Instead of making a pesto sauce, I combined all the ingredients into my pasta dish to create the same flavors in half the time. Oh, and it’s gluten free friendly!

Quinoa Pasta with Lazy Girl’s Pesto

Makes two servings

  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. quinoa pasta (you can substitute brown rice pasta if you’d like)
  • 2 cloves garlic (I use more because I’m a huge fan of garlic)
  • 1. c frozen broccoli
  • 1 c. frozen spinach
  • 2 TB coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB walnuts, chopped
  • approximately 1 TB dried basil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to directions. In the meantime, coat skillet with coconut oil on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute.

2. Mix in frozen broccoli and spinach, and cook for about 5 minute, or until vegetables are cooked through. Add in basil, walnuts salt and pepper.

3. Once pasta is cooked, drain and mix into vegetable mixture. Slowly stir in parmesan cheese until melted, and enjoy.

Feel free to play around with the vegetables, by adding in tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms or onion. OK, I’m off to finish some work, watch some television, and then hit they hay early. I’m running ELEVEN miles tomorrow for my half marathon training, so I want to make sure I’m carbed-up and well rested.

XoXo,

Healthy Meals, Four Ways

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Since moving in with The Boy two weeks ago, we’ve quickly become much more…domestic (well, at least in the kitchen). While I do enjoy cooking homemade meals, when I lived with my sister I frequently settled for salads, signature pasta dishes or breakfast for dinner. Since our schedules were so different, I would often cook for myself and therefore resorted to something easy.

However, living with a man is a completely different beast. Soups, salad, and what I consider “leftovers” simply don’t suffice for a Real Meal. Men need hearty, wholesome, grandiose dishes and thus we’ve become quite familiar with our teeny tiny Cambridge kitchen.

Thankfully, we both like to cook and we both enjoy eating well. I lucked out that my guy doesn’t eat processed food, soda, take-out pizza or boxed meals, but rather enjoys organic meats, high-quality cooking oils and most importantly: real food.

Here’s what’s been on our dinner menu lately:

-Homemade Gluten Free pizza with spinach, broccoli, ricotta, fresh mozzarella, mushroom, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning (crust mix from Bob’s Red Mill)

-Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers (inspired by Simply Life blog)

-Green Quinoa & Rice Bowl (Inspired by Life Alive cafe’s “The Swami” & modified from the Tie Dye Files*)

*Note: We used Whole Food’s Miso Ginger dressing, traded in half the brown rice for quinoa, substituted walnuts for almonds and added in a few shakings of Eden Organic’s Seaweed Gomasio.

-Shiitake Mushroom & Chicken Carbonara (inspired by Jamie Oliver & modified from Food That Makes You Go Mmmh*)

*Note: We added shiitake mushrooms and sweet peas, used brown rice pasta, and doubled the garlic

What are your favorite healthy meals to make with your roommate/family/significant other? Share your comments below.

Healthy Skin Food: Energizing Tomato Acovado Salad

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As you know, I enjoy healthy eating for my mind and body, but I also like loading up on foods that are good for my skin. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get the best luck when it comes to naturally, flawless skin, so I do whatever I can to treat my skin with kindness. And for me, that starts with my diet.

This salad is packed with good-for-your-skin eats like Omega-3 rich avocados, olive oil and walnuts, while providing a great source of energy to get you through that mid day slump. It also works wonderfully as a post-workout recovery meal.

Omega Avocado & Tomato Salad

  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 small Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/4 c. cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cage free egg
  • 1 TB cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • about 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • small handful walnuts
  • dash of Parmesan cheese, fresh (optional)
  1. Whisk together the balsamic and olive oil to create a delicious dressing. Mix together with veggies and greens.
  2. In the meantime, fry an egg over medium heat to your liking (I like to leave it a little bit runny).
  3. Top with walnuts and Parmesan.

Do you take your diet into consideration when it comes to your skin? What meals do you eat for maximum energy at lunchtime?

Leafy Greens, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad

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I whipped this recipe up for lunch this afternoon when I was in a rush to catch a train. It’s such a delightful combination, providing cooling effects with summer vegetables like leafy greens, tomato and cucumber with a savory touch from the walnuts and soft, goat cheese. A summer classic.

Goat Cheese Summer Salad

  • 1 c. leafy greens like spinach, arugula and kale
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1/4 lemon, fresh
  • 1 small roma tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 c. cucumber, chopped
  • 1/8 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1 oz goat cheese

Mix vegetables together, and then add in lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil for dressing. Top with salt and pepper to taste.

Super Lean Green Berry Breakfast Smoothie

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[taken via Instagram]

This breakfast smoothie is perfect during a cleanse, a hot summer day, or anytime you need to cool down and clean up your diet. Start the day right with a generous serving of vegetables, fruit, and TLC!

  • about 1/2 c. coconut milk, unflavored
  • 1/2 banana
  • 5 baby carrots
  • generous handful of kale
  • generous handful of mixed collard greens & spinach (choose one if you don’t have both)
  • 1/4 c. frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/2 c. frozen berries mixture (mine had cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
  • 1/8 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1 celery stalk
  • about 5 cucumber slices (or the equivalent of half a baby cucumber)
  • 1/2 TB flaxseed

~Blend together in a powerful blender and serve immediately. Dust with cinnamon if desired!

Lemony Chicken + Refreshing Summer Tabouli

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Seeing as though it’s mid July (the peak of summer), I’ve been advising my clients to cool down in all aspects of life, be it food, wellness or work. One of my favorite ways to cool down is by eating cooling, refreshing seasonal foods like watermelon, citrus, cucumbers, and herbs.

Last night, I decided to add a little Mediterranean flare to the dinner table by making a platter of Mediterranean-inspired eats. After all, I find that a diet rich in refreshing dishes with whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats fill me up most. I decided to go with a healthy trio: homemade tabouli + sauteed chicken + pita & hummus, a combo my sister and I can both agree was pure genius.

Refreshing Summer Tabouli

{makes 4-6 servings}

  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 c. bulgar wheat
  • 1 medium organic cucumber, chopped
  • 1 c. fresh parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 c. full fat feta, crumbled
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh mint for garnish (optional)

1. Boil water and pour over bulgar wheat. Stir and then let sit covered for 20 minutes.

2. Drain the bulgar wheat of excess water and then place in a large bowl. Add in cucumber, garlic, parsley and feta, and stir well. Then mix in olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh mint for an optional garnish for extra flavor.

Lemony Chicken

{makes 4 servings}

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 TB olive oil for cooking
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2  TB thyme

1. Coat large skillet with olive oil. Rub the chicken with parsley, thyme salt and pepper and then sauté on medium heat until tender.

2. Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon over the chicken, and allow the chicken to finish cooking.

~Serve with tabouli, pita, hummus and a glass of red wine (of course!)

Cook Something New: Healthy Sesame Soba Noodles from Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet

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As you know, I’m a big fan of experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, whether it be trying something new (like at-home sushi) or simply learning how to cook something in a different way by substituting ingredients.

Last week, I decided to take on both of those tasks by making something I’ve never attempted before, that is Asian Soba Sesame Noodles, and adjusting it based on my individual needs.

I followed a recipe from Tosca Reno’s The Eat Clean Diet Recharged! book, with a few simple adjustments and additions of my own. The recipe included a creative blend of delicious, lively ingredients like whole grain soba noodles, agave nectar, all natural almond butter, low-sodium tamari and more.

Instead of using the toasted sesame seeds as suggested, I kicked it up a notch by using Eden Food’s Seaweed Gomasio with Organic Whole Sesame Seeds, Sea salt and Sea Vegetables (Organic Dulse, Nori and Kombu) for a nutritional boost. I also added in some chicken leftover from a homemade Chicken Marsala my mother had made earlier in the week. I’d also recommend adding shrimp, fish, tofu, tempeh or extra veggies to make the meal a little more substantial.

I love cooking CLEAN with real, fresh ingredients and can’t wait to try more recipes from Tosca’s book. Why is that? My energy levels, physique, and overall mindset improves drastically when I put real, natural ingredients into my body, as will yours! After all, we are what we eat, so why not make that something wholesome and fabulous?

If you’re interested in making Tosca’s Sesame Soba noodles at home, the blog Kahakai Kitchen posted the recipe here.

Enjoy,

A Mother’s Day Treat for You: Gluten Free, No Bake Brownie Balls

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful, determined mother’s I know. Guiltlessly treat yourself to some of these No Bake Brownie balls, that take just minutes to make yet have a rich, decadent taste similar to truffles. While I altered them a bit, I owe a big thank you to SnackGirl for the recipe inspiration.

The best part? These little bites of joy are 100% gluten free (we have a couple gluten sensitivities in the house) and contain only a few ingredients – roasted almonds (which I roasted myself), pitted dates, organic cocoa powder, a handful of organic dark chocolate chips, and agave nectar – with a shake of powdered sugar on top for decor.

Next time I make these, I’m going to play around with them even more, trying out different combos like figs and maple syrup or cherries and honeys. More recipe combos to come…

Enjoy…I’m off to spend the day with my family on Fisher’s Island!


Is Your Granola Making You Fat? Try this Homemade Blueberry Flax Granola

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I have a huge crush on granola. I absolutely love the taste, crunch and satisfaction it brings on a dull weekday afternoon. However, I do not love the nutritional content in many store-bought varieties.

While you may be tempted to buy the brands that claim they’re “low fat” or “sugar free” or “zero grams trans fat!” I highly encourage you to read the ingredients and nutritional value on the back of the box. If you look carefully, you’ll see that many contain unnecessary added ingredients, artificial sweeteners, a heaping amount of sugar, and ultimately a huge disappointment.

Take Kellogg’s Lowfat Granola with Raisins for example, which contains whole grain rolled oats, whole grain wheat, sugar, rice, corn syrup, raisins, almonds, glycerin, palm oil, molasses, modified corn starch, salt, cinnamon, nonfat milk, malt flavoring, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, BHT for freshness, and guar gum. A 2/3 c. serving will tally up to 230 calories, and 17 grams of sugar.

When you look above, you can see that sugar is the third ingredient listed (after oats and wheat) making it one of the main ingredients in this granola. Not to mention the added corn syrup (a relative of high fructose corn syrup with similar initial processing), molasses, modified corn starch (physically or chemically treated starch) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), a potentially dangerous, hard-to-digest additive to lengthen shelf life of food and even makeup.

After being appalled by some of these findings, I decided to take matters into my own hands (and my own kitchen) by making homemade granola. I control the ingredients, nutritional content, and essentially what’s going inside my body. It’s a win-win-win situation!

Homemade Blueberry Flax Granola*

*Makes about 7 cups granola

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut water (I used Original Vita Coco)
  • 1/3 cup raw agave syrup
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup pure vanilla
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup dried blueberries (natural, without any added sugar) You can also use fresh blueberries, or add any other fruit of choice

~makes about 7 cups

1 Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In large mixing bowl, stir together oats, nuts, flaxseed, salt and spices.

2. Slowly add in olive oil, agave, water, coconut water and vanilla, mixing in evenly.
Toss until well combined.

3. Spread the mixture evenly on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent sticking or burning.

4. Let the granola cool and mix in the dried fruit.
Store in an airtight container for snacking the entire week for yourself, your family or your friends!

Enjoy as a snack, or add to your yogurt, milk or fruit for a delicious treat.

What to do When You Don’t Like Your Boyfriend’s Gift & Mushroom Breakfast Sandwich

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I’m totally a simple girl when it comes to gifts, meaning I’m perfectly happy with a handwritten card, dinner and a bottle of wine. Being the sentimental, romantic gal that I am, I live for those gifts that come from the heart.

So what’s a girl to do when she doesn’t like said gift from boyfriend? You see, The Boy had given me several gifts this past Valentine’s Day, one being a bracelet that wasn’t quite my style at all. Let’s just say, I’d probably never wear it and I truly felt terrible for not liking it. I tried to, really I did but it just wasn’t me. So I did what I felt I had to do at the time: lied. “I love it! It’s beautiful! And it has pearls!”

But when weeks went by with me not wearing it, and The Boy questioning why I didn’t have it on, I could only use the “It doesn’t match my outfit” excuse so many times. I had gotten myself stuck in a huge rut. I just had to tell him, someway, somehow that I didn’t like his gift…but how? (Ha, that totally sounds like something Dr. Seuss would say)

I decided to ask nearly every person I know and love what to do about the darn bracelet. (Thank you for those who listened to me and gave your opinions.) I received every piece of advice from “Suck it up!” to “Break it!” but after all the tips and tricks, I decided to follow my heart and just be honest.

It went a little like this:

Me: I have to tell you something, but I feel bad. But I have to tell you, but, eek, I can’t!

The Boy: What? Just tell me!

Me: No, I feel bad. I can’t. I just won’t tell you. (covering my face)

The Boy: C’mon, just tell me. Hit me while I’m vulnerable! (He had been out drinking the night before and had a massive hangover)

Me: Fine…OK. It’s about the bracelet you got me, you know the one you got me for Valentine’s Day.

The Boy: It broke?

Me: Not exactly.

The Boy: You don’t like it?

Me: Well…kinda…yea. It’s just really not my style. I like simple things and I feel bad for not wearing it all the time because I know you put a lot of thought into it, but it’s really just not me.

{lots more word vomiting followed}

The Boy: OK. That’s fine, but can you make me one of your famous breakfast sandwiches?

And so I did.

mmm herb-a-licious!

Sauteed Mushroom Egg Sandwich with Fresh Herbs

  • 1 piece Ezekiel bread
  • 1 large organic cage-free egg
  • handful baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 TB Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 6 arugula leaves
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Sauté mushrooms and onions in olive oil on medium heat. Add in balsamic vinegar, and bring to a simmer.

2. Return heat to low, and crack an egg over the vegetables. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until to desired consistency and then top with fresh herbs and sprinkle of feta cheese (about 1 TB). Flip egg to ensure cooked through. Note: I like to leave my egg yolk a tad runny.

3. In the meantime, toast the bread, and top with arugula, followed by egg mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This sandwich = one happy boy.

Oh, and the best part of the story? I found out a couple days later that The Boy had known I disliked his bracelet the night before I told him, but couldn’t help to watch in entertainment as I awkwardly confessed. How did he find out? His best friend simply told him, “Dude, she hates your bracelet. It’s not her style.” Now, why can’t I be that blunt? :) Hey, at least he got a free egg sandwich out of it.

Have you ever received a gift from your significant other that you didn’t like, even though you tried really hard to like? How did you break the news? Is your style white lies or blunt honesty?

 
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