Monday, September 26, 2016

Spiralized Cucumber Greek Salad

I love any kind of Greek salad or anything with Feta cheese, for that matter.
So when I saw this idea, I couldn't wait to put my own spin on it!!!
All my favorites in one dish with a fresh, flavorful herb dressing.  Yum!!
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy Cooking!

Spiralized Cucumber Greek Salad
1 large english cucumber, or 2 large regular garden cucumbers, Spiralized using whatever veggie spiral gadget you've got
1 cup of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
10 kalamata olives, pitted & sliced
1/4 cup sliced pepperochinni
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup herb dressing (recipe below) 

Toss everything together, season with salt & pepper if you would like, and serve!!
Stays good in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Fresh Herb Dressing
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1 clove of garlic
1/2 lemon, juices
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Himalayan Salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste 

Pour everything into a mini blender & blend.  Dressing will stay emulsified in the fridge and can be stored up to a week.  It's great on any kind of salad.

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

If you are looking for a quick and delicious salad or side, then THIS is it.
So simple, perfect for an easy meal prep or potluck, you've got to try this dish!!

Happy Cooking!

Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
Cooking spray
1 - 15.5oz can garbanzos, drained & rinsed
salt & pepper to taste
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T whole grain mustard
1 T Dijon mustard 
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

First, get the cauliflower roasting away.  Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray, place the cauliflower in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes until tender and browned.

Now make the dressing.  Combine the mustards and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking as you go until well combined.

Add the roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, and parsley.  

Stor until well combined.  Season with salt & pepper if needed. So good!  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lentil and Brown Rice Veggie Burgers

This recipe takes the leftovers from my Indian Spiced Lentil recipe and turns it into delicious veggie burgers.  2 meals out of one big crockpot of healthy goodness.   I like to top min off with a garlicky yogurt sauce - so good!!!
Happy Cooking!
Lentil and Brown Rice Veggie Burgers
1 1/2 cups of leftover Indian Spiced Crockpot Lentils (recipe here: 
3/4 cup of leftover cooked brown rice
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil, for cooking

Garlicky Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt 
1 tsp olive oil
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients and allow the sauce to sit for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Now to make the burgers.  Take half of the lentils and mash them with a potato masher.  Then add the other ingredients and mix well until combined. 
Form into 4 patties.  (If you like your burgers a bit drier, you may want to add more rice).  Chill in the fridge for an hour or freezer for 30 minutes. 

Heat 1 T of olive oil over medium in a frying pan.  Cooke for 3-5 minutes on each side to get a little crust on it.  
Flip and do the same to the other side.

Serve with the garlicky yogurt sauce along side a salad or roasted broccoli.  Yum!!  Enjoy!

Simple Spaghetti with Tuna and Tomatoes

This recipe was a long time coming.  I had been watching chefs on the Food Network, such as Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis make versions of this and I always wondered what it would taste like.  But truth be told, I was scared that making the canned tuna warm would be super fishy.  Well to my surprise, its not at all!!!

Last week I took a bunch of cooking books out of the library.  Owen took interest in several recipes, so I told him to choose 4 to make this week.  This Spaghetti recipe was one of them.  
It can be thrown together in less than 15 minutes, perfect for a busy weeknight, and a great option to add healthy protein to every kids favorite dish - pasta and sauce.  Yes, we love meatballs; but homemade meatballs takes some time, and store-bought have lots of ingredients I would prefer to avoid.   So this is now something I KNOW my kiddos will eat without any drama.  IN fact, Owen said he like this MORE than his regular pasta with plain sauce. WHAT?!?!?!  I'll take it!
A more grown-up version would add capers and kalamata olives, or maybe even an anchovy or two for the foodies out there.  As many of my recipes, I want you to take it and make it your own.   This can be served with a green salad or roasted veggies.

Happy Cooking!!

Simple Spaghetti with Tuna and Tomatoes
8 oz whole grain spaghetti (I like Ronzoni Smart Taste)
1-2 T olive oil
1 cup of your favorite clean marinara sauce (or you can make a quick pan-sauce with
1 T olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 cup of pureed canned tomatoes)
1 can (5 oz) albacore tuna, packed in water
1/2 cup Romano cheese
reserved pasta water

Cook the pasta according to the package in heavily salted water.   Once its ready, reserve some of the pasta water and drained the spaghetti. 

Meanwhile, heat up or make your sauce (heat pan, add olive oil add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes, stir and allow to warm before moving to next step.).   Once warmed through, add the tuna breaking it up until its just warmed through, about 2 minutes.   Add the spaghetti and toss everything together.  If its dry, you can add some pasta water and top off with the grated Romano. 

Make Ahead Couscous Salad

I love make-ahead salads for quick go-to lunches and snacks!!  You can be intentional with your ingredients,  or just use up all the leftovers in your fridge.  And to be honest, that's what this was for me.  

Once you know the basic way to make homemade dressing, you just throw a bunch of things in a bowl and voila!!  You have deliciousness!!  

I hope you love this and get creative with it - make it your own.  And message me with your creations too!!!  I want to hear from you!

Happy Cooking!

Make-Ahead Couscous Salad
1 1/2 cups of leftover whole wheat couscous (already cooked)
1 cup of garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup diced red pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Mix everything together in a large bowl and keep in the fridge until you eat it.  When you are ready to serve yourself, just gently toss again to redistribute the dressing.  


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Crockpot Indian Spiced Lentils

I got this amazing set of spices from a good family friend and I am looking for new recipes that use them.  These lentils are just one of many recipes you can expect over the next few months. 

I love my crockpot - so simple.  You can even cut all the veggies up ahead of time to make the morning crockpot dump that much easier.  I am serving mine over couscous instead of brown rice (we just had rice last night with our stir-fry) and sides of roasted broccoli and naan.  Yum!

And this was kid approved!!!  There is almost no heat to these lentils, so absolutely kid friendly.  

Happy Cooking!

Crockpot Indian Spiced Lentils

2 cups of brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of fresh minced ginger
2 T coconut oil
1 tsp Kashmiri Curry
1 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
8 oz of tomato sauce (no seasoning added)
3-4 cups of water
Sriracha, Greek Yogurt, and cilantro for serving

️Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and set on high for 7-8 hours. 

Check occasionally, as you may need to add more water if the lentils absorb it all. 

Asian Kale Mason Jar Salad

Yes, everyone has seen mason jar salads, but how about a delicious vegetarian version with Asian flavors???

This one is so simple and delicious!  Feel free to sub out any ingredients you don't like and even add chicken, tofu or tempeh if you want to add some protein.  I like to make these during my meal prep and let them sit in the fridge for simple grab and go lunches.  My hubby loves to take them to work too.   Hope you enjoy them!

Happy Cooking!

Asian Kale Mason Jar Salads
(makes 4 mason jars)

8 tablespoons of Asian Vinaigrette (recipe below)
2 cups of shelled, cooked, and lightly salted edamame
4 cups of baby kale, roughly cut (I like to tightly pack it, so for me that meant about 7-8 oz container)
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 cup of chopped red pepper
2 cups of snow peas, trimmed and cut in half
4 T each fresh basil and cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced

In each jar layer the ingredients in the following order:  2 T dressing, 1/2 cup edamame, 1/4 cup carrots, 1/4 cup peppers, 1/2 cup snow peas, 1 cup kale, 1 T of each herb, 1/4 avocado.  Seal tightly and store in the fridge until lunch time!!  Yummo!  Enjoy!

Asian Vinaigrette
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup liquid aminos
5 T sesame oil
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp raw honey
️place all ingredients in the blender.  Done!  Easy peasy. 

Mason Jar Yogurt Parfaits

I'm always looking for recipes I can make ahead so I can grab and eat it on the go or while I'm working.  These yogurt parfaits are so simple, and perfect for this!!

You can eat them for breakfast or snack and are really versatile.  Change up the fruit, add homemade granola, or flax instead of chia.  I made a few with chia and berries, and a few with coconut and banana.  The banana did not get brown, even after sitting for over 24 hours.  

And get your kids involved - they can make their own versions for their lunch boxes.  Hope you enjoy!!

Happy Cooking!

Mason Jar Yogurt Parfaits
¾ cup reduced fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt
1 cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries)
2 tsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. honey

Start off with a layer of yogurt.  Add the chia, then the honey.  Top it off with the fruit, seal it tight, and place in the fridge until serving.  They stay well for days at a time.

chef note:  I prefer the wide mouth mason jars because its easier to get the food inside. 
 For those of you following the Fix, 1 jar is 1 red, 1 purple, ½ orange)
Variations: Substitute ½ large banana, 1 mango, or 1 peach for berries and 1 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut, or 1 Tbsp. flaxseeds, or 1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds for chia seeds.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Greek Quinoa Salad - 21 Day Fix approved

I love feta and olives, so I'm always looking for healthy meals and ️sides to incorporate then. 

I like to make this salad for a simple make-ahead lunch with grilled or roasted veggies, and it's great for a picnic, potluck or party too!!  I made it for Labor Day at our house yesterday. 

So good!!!!  Feel free to add more ️veggies or change up the ingredients.  It's super versatile. 

Happy Cooking!!!

Greek Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
2 T red wine Vinegar
2 T olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed 
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half (mine were yellow tomatoes)
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced green olives
1/2 lemon, juiced
More red wine vinegar, salt, pepper & olive oil to taste

Cook quinoa according to package, scrape into a bowl & immediately add 2 T each red wine vinegar & olive oil while hot.  Combine well, season with salt & pepper.  Set aside until it's at room temperature.

Once cooled, add all the other I ingredients, mix well, and add additional vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.