Chili Lime Chickpea Salad

This was the easiest and tastiest chickpea salad I’ve made yet! It would be great to take to work for lunches during the week or to have as a side with dinner like I did here.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

Chili/Lime dressing:

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder, depending on preferred spice level
  • salt and pepper to taste

That’s it! Mix all of the ingredients together and cover with dressing. Enjoy!

The Best Meal I’ve Ever Made

This eggplant parmesan was quite possibly one of the best meals I’ve ever made. It was a few more steps and a few more ingredients than I usually like to cook with (I like fast and easy recipes), but it was so worth it. I have only had eggplant parmesan maybe twice in my life because I can no longer eat dairy. I learned how to make it when I was living in Italy and it was delicious, but so loaded with cheese that I’ve never tried to re-create it at home. For some reason unknown to me, goat cheese has no impact on how I’m feeling, so I decided to look for a recipe that called for goat cheese and no other dairy products. I found one recipe that was eggplant, red sauce, goat cheese, and parmesan and I tweaked it a little to make this delicious meal.

What you’ll need:

  •  1 large purple eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt to weep eggplant slices
  • 1-2 cups flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil for frying
  • 1 jar tomato basil spaghetti sauce (I used an organic brand with few ingredients)
  • 1 small block of goat cheese broken into pieces (crumbled would work too)
  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red onion
  • 4-5 fresh tomatoes, sliced
  • fresh basil leaves

What you’ll do:

  1. Peel skin off eggplant, and slice length-wise so you have thin slices for layering (like lasagna).
  2. Cover the slices with sea salt to remove moisture. Let sit 10-15 minutes and drain water.
  3. Combine the sea salt and flour and blend together with a fork.
  4. Pat dry the eggplant slices with a paper towel.
  5. Warm oil in a large frying pan.
  6. Dip the eggplant in the egg and then in the flour/salt mixture, and place in pan.
  7. Fry on each side until they start to brown (few minutes), and then lay on paper towel.
  8. Saute onions, mushrooms, spinach, and basil in a frying pan and set aside.
  9. In a baking dish, place a layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of eggplant slices, then the sliced tomatoes, spinach mixture, and a few pieces of goat cheese. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all the eggplant.Top with sauce, spinach mixture, sliced tomatoes, lots of fresh basil and goat cheese chunks (or crumbles).
  10. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
  11. Cool and cut. Enjoy!What’s the best meal you’ve ever made?

Grilled Portabella Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Growing up I hated mushrooms. About a year ago I bought some from the farmer’s market because a friend kept talking about how amazing they were. She was right..and I have been enjoying them ever since!

I picked up two portabellas from the farmer’s market last week and decided we would have grilled portabella “burgers” for dinner. I think the key to making these so delicious is using a marinade before grilling. The sweet potato fries on the side with a spicy dipping sauce was a great addition.

What you’ll need:

“Burger” marinade

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper

Wash mushrooms and remove the stems. Combine ingredients in a bowl (or a zip lock bag) and pour over mushrooms. Marinate for about an hour, flipping once if you’re using a bowl.Then grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side. We topped them with guacamole and grilled red onions and ate them on cabbage leaves instead of buns. This marinade was so good that you didn’t even need sauce on top!

Sweet potato fries

  • 1 large sweet potato, sliced into fry size bites (serves 2 people)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Coat the fries in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake on 375 for about 25-30 minutes until lightly crispy. (sprinkle a little cornstarch on top for extra crisp!)

Spicy Sriracha Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt (more if you’re making sauce for more than 2 people)
  • 1 tbsp sriracha (less if you don’t like too much spice)
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • tsp garlic powder or garlic salt

Combine all ingredients and serve. If you like this extra spicy you can add more sriracha, but definitely taste this before serving. The light color of the finished product can be misleading..it is still incredibly spicy!

Black Bean and Endive “Tacos”

YUM! These little  black bean and veggie “tacos” were delicious! I basically just threw all the ingredients I could find in my fridge together and came up with these. You could use large lettuce leaves instead but I just love the crunch of the endive and happened to have them on hand already. They were so easy and quick to make, and kept me full all night. They are the perfect bite-size portions and would be great for a Cinco de Mayo party this weekend! What you’ll need:

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (any color would work, I used orange)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (more if you like it extra spicy)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth

What you’ll do:

Saute onions, celery, and carrots in 1 tsp. olive oil until tender. Add in bell peppers, then after a few minutes, add mushrooms. Stir in the drained and rinsed black beans until warm all the way through. Mix seasonings with vegetable broth and pour into bean mixture. Stir until seasoning coats the mixture and serve on small endive leaves or any lettuce wrap of your choice. Top with avocado, hot sauce, cilantro, salsa, whatever you like! These “tacos” are so healthy – full of fiber and protein – and taste great the next day for leftovers as well. Enjoy!

Kaia BRIK (and Detox) has Begun!

I am so excited that my six-week boot-camp has begun! I just joined an all women’s program, called Kaia, that meets 5 days a week. Today was the first day (we meet at 6am) and I know I’m going to love it. The women are encouraged to do a complete detox for the first and last week of the program, which means no sugar, no dairy, no carbs (except what is in fruits and veggies) no processed foods and no alcohol. This is exactly what my body needs and I’m really looking forward to how I will feel by the end of the week. Maybe I’ll even extend the detox for a second week!

Last night I decided to make a (mostly) Kaia friendly meal to get myself started on the right track. We had artichokes with an aioli made with vegenaise (usually I would make one from Greek Yogurt but I was all out!), a delicious kale and spinach salad and some leftover pasta salad from the night before. I thought I’d sneak in a little yummy carbs before detox started!

My favorite part of the meal was definitely the kale salad. Usually I saute kale or use it in my smoothies but it can actually be really great in a raw salad. Kale has a pretty rough texture, but when you coat it in a little olive oil and sea salt and massage it into the leaves, it wilts and tastes great! For this salad all I did was wilt the kale, add fresh spinach, red onions, radishes, avocado, a little lemon juice, and salt and pepper (the olive oil I used to wilt the kale was enough to coat the whole salad- no need for more dressing).

I am really looking forward to making lots of healthy, clean meals this week and hopefully I can share most of them with you! To  check out the Kaia in your area, click here! Or go to Kaia Sacramento’s blog for tip and ideas on healthy eating and exercise.

Do any of you have great healthy, clean recipes I should try while on detox? I’d love to hear them!

Happy eating :)

Red Kale Chips

I LOVE kale. It tastes good and is super duper healthy. It is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, B6, calcium, beta carotene and LOTS more. I usually add it to my smoothies in the morning, or saute it as a side dish with dinner, but I had been hearing about how delicious kale chips were so I thought I’d give it a try. I had a big bunch of  Russian red kale so I decided to use it instead of the regular green kale I had. Next time I’ll have to switch it up to see if they taste different. I especially love red kale because of the beautiful purple stems.

This recipe is very easy, and you need very few ingredients – kale, olive oil, and kosher salt.

Wash your kale and peel leaves off of stems. Tear into bite-sized pieces and spread out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil on the top (1-2 tsp) and sprinkle with salt. I used the big kosher salt but regular salt would work fine too. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy.

Loaded Spaghetti Squash

Carbs. All I ever want are carbs. Carbs carbs carbs. They are delicious and if I could survive on carbs alone (without gaining 100 pounds) I would. But, we all know that eating huge amounts of processed carbohydrates for every single meal is not so good for you. So, I’ve tried to come up with a few alternatives that make me still feel like I’m getting to eat my favorite foods like bread and pasta. I still eat both of those things, but I try to limit them when I can.

One of my favorite ways to make a “pasta” dinner a little healthier is to use spaghetti squash instead of noodles. I usually make it just like I would regular spaghetti, with tomato sauce and sometimes I add ground turkey for a little protein. This time I loaded it full of veggies and it was delicious! (I made it at night so my photo is a little dark)

Spaghetti squash is so easy to make. You can cut it in half, coat with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes until the outside is soft OR if you’re in a hurry, you can microwave it. This particular day I was starving after work and couldn’t wait for the oven to do the work so I poked holes all over the squash, put it on a plate and microwaved it until the outside was soft. The time will depend on how big your squash is. Mine was small so it didn’t take very long at all. I put it in for two minutes, turned it over, and kept adding two minutes until it was done. Total I think it cooked in about six minutes.

While the squash was in the microwave, I chopped all my veggies. I used mushrooms, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I sautéed them all with some olive oil and white wine. I took the squash out, cut it in half, cleaned out the seeds, and then scraped all the insides out with a fork. Then I added all the squash to the veggie mixture, added a little olive oil and was all done!

What is your favorite way to make spaghetti squash?

 

 

Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Peppers with Spicy Black Beans

Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite things to make (I’ve blogged about them before here). Last night I made these with quinoa and a whole bunch of veggies. They were delicious and they were pretty filling because of the protein in the quinoa!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 large bell peppers
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used a quinoa and brown rice mix)
  • handful of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 of a red onion, chopped
  • a handful of mushrooms, chopped (any kind will work, I used white)
  • 1 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 c dry white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • I added a little cayenne pepper for some spice but you can leave that out

What you’ll do:

Chop the top off the bell peppers and clean out the seeds. Hold on to the top so you can put it back on for baking. Saute the onions and green bell peppers in a little olive oil until tender. Then add mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. After a few minutes, add the wine and spinach. Mix in the quinoa and cook until heated through. Add the mixture to the bell peppers until they are full, put the caps back on and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

The black beans are super easy and super yummy. All you need is a can of black beans (I use organic), 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa or pico de gallo (I used a fresh pico from the store that was extra spicy) and a little salt and pepper! You heat those ingredients together and then top with a little bit of your favorite shredded cheese. I made these for a little extra protein on the side of our veggie bell peppers since we weren’t having any meat. Enjoy!