Rainy day, lazy mood and some rogue veggies scattered in the fridge can only mean one thing. Order takeout! Kidding. I hardly ever order takeout, instead I’d rather channel my inner top chef and get creative. Keep Reading!
This very simple recipe produces one delicious meal. Cooking cannellini beans very gently in a heavy bottomed pot or casserole dish for several hours on the stove or in the oven, results in a taste that can’t be passed up. Keep Reading!
A staple on Pugliese tables Fave e Chicoria, a puree of fava beans topped with wilted chicory is a fundamental farm style meal that’s cooked in country kitchens from the hill towns scattered throughout Italy. Keep Reading!
Slurp your way to warmth and health with this nourishing Asian-inspired soup. Don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe; open your fridge, use what’s on hand and experiment! If you’re a meat-eater go ahead and replace the tofu with free range pork, stir fried until brown and crispy. No watercress? Try spinach or another leafy green. Use what you have on hand and don’t worry you can’t go wrong with this soup! Keep Reading!
I don’t believe in dieting, but I do believe in a healthy diet. So, what’s the difference you ask!? Dieting is a temporary thing, it’s something you will eventually go off. Diet is something you are able to sustain every day of your life.
How do you know what type of diet is for you? Truth is, there is SO MUCH information out there, the rules the promises the secrets to success it’s enough to make your head spin! You know what? I hate to break it to you but there really is no one-size-fits-all key to success. You have to focus on YOU and adopt a way of eating for your life. From paleo to gluten-free, clean-eating, low-carb, no-carb, sugar-free and countless others, forget about it! Don’t be preoccupied with rules because then you tend to not trust yourself. Going on a diet makes eating stressful and it trains you to believe that you can’t do it on your own. You need to learn a way to eat that doesn’t control you.
If you can’t go more than a couple of weeks on the regimen you select then don’t do it, because you’re just going to end up making yourself feel bad! Eating cabbage soup every day until the day you die is not realistic, it’s temporary, it’s depressing and it’s something you will eventually go off. Get this, 98% of people who go off a diet gain the weight back again which proves: Diet can not be approached short-term, it has to be for life! So, unless you are able to sustain your diet every day for the rest of your life, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Promise to never go on a diet that you won’t be able to do for the rest of your life, mmmkay!
Learning what your body needs and how much it needs is going to take consistency, dedication, hard work and some trial and error. You won’t get results over night… HELLO! You are making a lifestyle change here, but I promise, by making small changes each day you will slowly gain momentum toward your end goals.
It’s true when they say abs are made in the kitchen! Most of your body transformation will occur from what you eat. Physical activity is a strong part of that, but you’ll see the GREATEST change in your body when you change what you’re putting in your mouth. This doesn’t mean that exercise isn’t important, in fact, it will do nothing but make your life better. I’ll let you in on another secret: Exercise is not just for the physical benefits but more importantly, the mental benefits and what it does to your mind-set. Once you get to that point in exercise, where you do it for yourself, not your weight you will find clarity, make healthier choices, feel happier and your results will be the proof.
So, how does one start developing their lifestyle of healthy eating? You can follow someone else but only if it sounds interesting, you look forward to it or you could live like that, then give it a try! I needed a total reset with my eating and exercise regime. I knew what foods were healthy and that I tended to overeat certain foods that didn’t make me feel great, what I needed was a reboot. I chose to use the 21 Day Fix Extreme to reset myself because it actually taught me how to HABITUALLY make healthy meals and fit workouts into my busy lifestyle. I was excited about it, I didn’t feel deprived, there were no weird rules, no counting of calories or eating the same darn thing everyday! Most importantly I learned the right portion sizes for me, I had totally been overeating before!
Slowly over a 3 week period I was consistently working out every day, eating a healthy and balanced diet that didn’t leave me hungry, deprived or depressed and I was looking and feeling AWESOME! Science doesn’t lie, they say it takes 3 weeks to develop a habit!
What I wish I had when I started my lifestyle journey was Autumn Calabrese’s (the creator of 21 Day Fix) new cookbook, Fixate! I have to share just how amazing this cookbook is! It’s filled with recipes catered and geared towards your healthy eating goals! Imagine someone laying it all out for you… no counting, no color-coding just delicious, easy to prepare recipes for everyone! Whether your vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or like me and eat a little of everything there are healthy recipes and ideas for every meal of the day!
Cover to cover you’ll find 101 recipes that are easy to follow, not gourmet-hours-in-the-kitchen instructions. All the container equivalents are listed (for those who follow the 21 Day Fix) and the nutritional elements listed as well. You’ll also get Autumn’s tips, even for organizing your pantry and grocery shopping.
Inside Fixate you’ll find a section for every possible meal you can imagine: simple breakfasts, on-the-go lunches, sit down dinners, soups, salads, as well as healthy snacks like kale chips and protein bars.
Autumn insisted that all the “on-the-go” lunch recipes be easy and fast for working moms. “I based all of the on-the-go lunches off leftovers from dinner and even breakfast and turned them into delicious, easy-to-make lunch recipes. I also included a few of my favorite Shakeology recipes—even some Fix-approved skinny cocktails.”
And then there’s the desserts. I have a big sweet tooth and especially love the brownies (made with chick peas), peanut butter cookies and cake recipes, and the desserts are all gluten-free so absolutely everyone can enjoy them.
“This book is for everybody,” says Autumn. “You don’t have to be graduates of 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme. You also don’t have to be a chef or great in the kitchen. It’s for anyone who wants to make healthier versions of the foods they love.”
“Everyone will use the book differently. For some, it will become their “go-to” cookbook they use every single day. Others may use it when they’re going to a special event like a barbecue or party.”
And in addition to all the amazing recipes, Autumn has also included a detailed checklist for her absolute must-have kitchen and pantry staples, as well as the basic utensils and tools that every cook needs.
Autumn reached into her family history for inspiration. “My family was in the restaurant business, so I basically grew up in the kitchen,” she explains. “I was able to take my family’s recipes and make them healthier.”
“We took our time, tested the recipes and I love every single one of them,” she says with pride. “It’s not fancy cooking; there’s a variety of everyday go-to recipes and special recipes for special occasions.”
How many recipes are in the book, you ask? Try 101. Some were creations of a chef very close to Autumn’s heart: her brother. “That makes it even more sentimental for me,” she says.
Each of the recipes comes complete with detailed instructions, mouthwatering photos, nutritional information and container equivalents. What’s more, Autumn has added icons to each recipe that will let readers know if they are paleo, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
I hope that by sharing what has worked for me will inspired you to begin your journey of healthy eating and being the best possible you! Good luck and feel free to comment with successes, failures, tips and motivation!!!
Oh yeah, if you want a copy of Fixate, it’s AVAILABLE NOW!
Here is how to order this book!!!
Select –> Shop –> Fitness Program –> The 21 Day Fix –> FIXATE!
If you are interested in my support as your Beachbody Coach and would like to join me in a dialed in 21 Day focused challenge group email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Who can resist salty, crunchtastical snacks?!
Kale has been in the limelight as a healthy and versatile superfood and it’s staked a prominent presence in the chip world—kale chips are popping up in restaurants and hitting grocery store shelves. But you don’t have to go out or splurge on a fancy bag of prepackaged kale, satisfy your salt fix with a little DIY up in your kitchen!
Homemade kale chips are economical, amazingly simple to prepare and you control the ingredients. Try any kale you please—curly kale, Tuscan kale, Red Russian kale, and don’t even think about throwing out those beet greens, turn them into salty, crunchy chips! Customize your kale with seasonings such as curry, nutritional yeast, sesame seeds, infused olive oil or freshly grated Parmesan. Go ahead get crazy with kale!
Before you begin crispifying your kale, I will let you in on a secret to successful crunchiness—you will need this gadget: Misto Olive Oil Mister or as I refer to it, a MOOM!
So, find yourself a MOOM, follow the instructions and get misting!
2-3 heads of Kale
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
MOOM (Misto Olive Oil Mister)
Wash and remove the tough stems from the kale. I find the most efficient way to de-stem kale is to grab the bottom of the stem with one hand while sliding your other hand along the stem, easily pulling the leaf away.
Next line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the kale leaves onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Mist with olive oil and season with sea salt. Flip the leaves over and repeat on the other side.
Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 20 minutes (I flipped my kale over about half way through to ensure even cooking)
Enjoy warm or cool. Keep fresh in a Tupperware container for a few days.
If you are akin to me then lunch is something to look forward to, a mid-day stretch for the mind and energizing the belly. I’m not one who can handle the doldrums of eating the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch everyday and feel that a packed lunch should be something to look forward to, it should inspire and satisfy. Get creative, re-purpose leftovers and pack a lunch that excites you!
This electrifying green salad is great for perking up a brown bagged lunch. Versatile in use, it can be used as a sandwich filling or dip for veggies and pita chips. Light up your day with a Smashed Avocado and Chickpea Salad Sandwich.
Smashed Avocado and Chickpea Salad
1 (15oz) can chickpeas
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread of your choice
Fresh spinach/lettuce leaves or other fave sandwich toppings
***I’ve also substituted parsley for the cilantro and lemon juice for the lime juice which is equally GOOD!
1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
2. In a medium bowl, using a fork or potato masher smash together the avocado and chickpeas. Add in cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Spread salad on bread and top with your favorite sandwich toppings.
Note: This salad also makes a great dip served with veggies, crackers, or pita chips. It is best eaten the day it is made because it can turn brown due to the avocado. If you do make it the night before I’ve had success in maintaining a vibrant green hue by placing the salad in a glass Tupperware dish and covering with plastic wrap (not the top of the container but actually compressing the plastic wrap atop the salad) this seals out any air which oxidizes the avocado causing it to turn brown, then cover with a Tupperware lid and refrigerate.
Having had a successful first attempt at seitan I decided to venture from the cutlet onto something bigger—a roast, and a stuffed roast at that! I followed Isa Chandra’s recipe from PPK to a T and it turned out wonderfully. A nicely, browned, seitan roast stuffed with meaty mushrooms, herbs, and leeks. The roast solo is a bit dry for my taste so I paired it with Isa’s Chickpea Gravy, lending some moisture to the seitan.
Recipes with lots of steps seem to discourage people from trying, deeming them too difficult. I urge to you give this a try, it’s not complicated, pinky promise! I’m already brainstorming new stuffing and marinade ideas for my next seitan roast.
The photo above depicts the steps:
1. Roll out the seitan into a rectangular-ish shape (it doesn’t have to be perfect) placing the stuffing at the bottom third
2. Roll the bottom part of the seitan up and over the filling. Keep rolling until in it’s in a log shape. Pinch together the seam and pinch together the sides to seal
3. Use 2- 18″ pieces of tin foil, laying them out horizontally in front of you. The sheet further from you should overlap the closer sheet by about 6 inches. This way you have enough foil to wrap around the whole roast
4. Place the seitan roast in the center of the tin foil and roll it up like a tootsie roll
Seitan Roast Stuffed with Shiitakes and Leeks
There are a few recipe notes before you begin:
~For best results, use a salty homemade vegetable broth. Salt is integral to the flavor of the seitan, so if your broth isn’t seasoned then add a teaspoon or so of salt to it.
~You’ll also want to spoon broth over the roast before serving, to keep it from being dry. Of course you’re going to be coating it in gravy, too. But the broth is a nice touch. If you’re slicing and serving, ladle on spoonfuls of broth on each individual slice, too. You can’t have too much juice, here!
~This roast reheats perfectly. Refrigerate in its wrapper for up to 3 days before hand. When ready to serve, preheat an oven to 350 F and cook for 20 minutes. This will dry it out a bit, so use the broth hints above for sure!
~Use a steak knife for the easiest slicing.
~I used panko breadcrumbs but if you use homemade, use 3/4 cup.
~This makes enough for 6 hungry people. If it’s not Thanksgiving or another holiday, and people are not totally stuffing their faces, it serves at least 8.
For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (rough ends removed)
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into thin half moons
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the roast
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained (fresh or canned)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed or finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed between your fingers
1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed between your fingers
Several dashes fresh black pepper
First prepare the filling:
Preheat a large pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms and leeks in oil until soft, about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring often.
Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook the mixture, stirring very often, until the breadcrumbs are toasty and the mixture is relatively dry. This should take about 5 minutes, and the breadcrumbs should turn a few shades darker.
Drizzle in the broth and lemon juice and toss to coat until moist. If it still seems dry drizzle in a little extra olive oil. Set aside until ready to use.
Prepare the roast:
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, pulse the garlic until well chopped. Add the beans, broth, olive oil and soy sauce and puree until mostly smooth (a few pieces of bean are okay, but they should be no bigger than a pea.)
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, herbs and spices. Make a well in the center and add the bean mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts coming together to form a ball of dough. Knead until everything is well incorporated.
Now we’re going to roll out the seitan and form the roast. Place two pieces of tin foil (about 18 inches long) horizontally in front of you. The sheet further from you should overlap the closer sheet by about 6 inches. This way you have enough foil to wrap around the whole roast.
On a separate surface, use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the seitan into a roughly 12 x 10 rectangle. If any pieces rip, don’t worry about it, just use a pinch of dough from the ends to repair any holes.
Place the filling in the lower 1/3 of the seitan rectangle, leaving about 2 inches of space at both ends. Make sure the filling is compact, use your hands to form it into a nice, tight bundle.
Now roll! Roll the bottom part of the seitan up and over the filling. Keep rolling until in it’s in a log shape. Now pinch together the seam and pinch together the sides to seal. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it will snap into shape when baking.
Place the roll in the center of the tinfoil and roll up like a tootsie roll, making sure the ends are tightly wrapped. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for an hour*. Rotate the roll every 20 minutes for even cooking.
Remove from oven and let cool. Unwrap, spoon vegetable broth overtop, slice and serve!
by Isa Chandra
makes about 3 cups
1/4 C all-purpose flour
Approximately 2 1/2 C water
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, quartered and sliced thin
2 tsp mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C cooked chickpeas, or 1 can, rinsed and drained
2 pinches ground cumin
2 pinches paprika
1 pinch dried rosemary
1 pinch dried thyme
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch dried coriander
3 Tbs soy sauce
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C nutritional yeast
Mix the flour with 2 cups of water until the flour is mostly dissolved. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions and mustard seeds; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are browned and the mustard seeds are toasted. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more.
Add the chickpeas; use a potato masher to mash them — you don’t want to mash them into a paste, just make sure each one is broken up although if there are a few whole ones left, that is ok. Add the herbs and spices, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits of onion.
Lower heat and pour the flour mixture into the pan. Stir constantly until a thick gravy forms. Stir in the nutritional yeast. If it looks too thick and pasty, add more water and mix well. It may look like it doesn’t want any more water added to it, but just keep mixing and it will loosen up. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Finger food isn’t only for kids, grab ahold of these muffins and channel your inner-child! Fun to eat and easy to pack and reheat for a brown bagged lunch, you’ll be thinking of ways to mini-mize all of your favorite foods.
Meat-less Meatloaf Muffins Topped with Kale Mashed Potatoes
The inspiration for these meat-less meatloaf muffins came from The Sweet Life—a blog filled vegan delights. You can follow The Sweet Life’s Recipe which is equally good, topped with pureed butternut squash. I’ve played around with toppings and tried a mashed sweet potato one which I threw into the”do not keep pile,” however the kale mashed potatoes are definitely a “keeper!”
Meat-less Meatloaf Muffins Topped with Kale Mashed Potatoes
Meat-Less Meatloaf from The Sweet Life:
1 cup brown lentils, dry
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1/3 cup green pepper, diced
1 (6) ounce can tomato paste
1 cup walnuts
2 tbsp chick pea flour
salt and pepper to taste
Kale Mashed Potatoes
this may be halved or enjoy extra mashers
3lbs potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
1 bunch of kale
1 Tbs. coconut oil
2 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1 -1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
1 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F
For the Meat-less Meatloaf:
Rinse the lentils. In a medium pot combine lentils with vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking until lentils are soft (about 45 minutes). Add Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small pan heat vegetable oil. Saute onions and peppers over medium high heat for 5 minutes, until cooked. Stir together onion mixture, lentils, and tomato paste. In a food processor blend together walnuts and chick pea flour until combined. Add the lentil mixture and mix until well combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
Scoop lentil/walnut mixture into muffin tins, filling to the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes until edges brown and begin pulling away from the edge. It’s okay if it’s still a little underdone on the inside, it will harden as it sets.
Let cool in muffin tins at least 20 minutes. When ready to serve, release by running a knife around the edge.
Top the muffins with the Kale Mashed Potatoes either with a piping bag or a big spoon/ice cream scoop works just as well!
For the Kale Mashed Potatoes:
Prep all of your ingredients, wash, de-stem and chop the kale. Chop the shallots, mince garlic and wash and cut your potatoes in half. Peeling of the potatoes are optional, I leave the skin on, as it gives the dish a more rustic look, saves on prep time and gives the dish more fiber. Put the potatoes into a large pot and cover them completely with tepid water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.
The title may say breakfast but this bahn mi can be enjoyed at any meal.
The bahn mi is synonymous with the submarine sandwich, hailing from Vietnam. It was born when the French introduced the baguette to the country; a salad sandwich on crusty bread filled with greens, pickled vegetables, chiles, and tofu, seafood or meat.
Don’t skimp out on the Star Anise Daikon Pickles they make this sandwich! The day before you make the bahn mi take 15min to prepare the daikon pickles:
1/2 pound daikon radish (about one slender 10 inch radish)
1/4 pound carrots (about 2 large carrots)
6 large green jalapeño or serrano chilies, stems removed
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, black or mixed color
4 whole star anise
Make the pickles ahead of time:
Peel daikon and carrots and slice into thin long matchsticks no thicker than 1/4 inch: I use a mandolin for this but you can take your time and use a chef’s knife. Or even better, use a Y-shaped julienne peeler. Slice the chilies in half, remove the seeds (or keep them in for really hot pickles), and slice into very thin slivers. Toss everything together and pack into a clean, dry 1 pint glass mason jar.
In a small saucepan bring to a gentle boil the vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns and star anise and boil for 2 minutes. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt and then pour everything over the vegetables in the jar, including the star anise and peppercorns. Cover very tightly and chill for 30 minutes before using. Keep tightly covered and chilled when not using.
It may look like a lot of steps but this sandwich comes together quickly and it’s just too darn amazing to pass up! I promise your taste buds with thank you—now onto the Bahn Mi:
For the tofu:
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
4 scallions, white and green parts divided and sliced very thin
4 cloves garlic, peeled and mince
1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce (preferably Thai thin soy sauce ) or tamari
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder, any variety
4 six to eight inch crusty sandwich rolls or sliced from 2 baguettes
Thin slices of ripe tomato
Paper thin slices of red radish or matchsticks of daikon or jicama
Asian garlic chili sauce (such as Sriracha or sambal oelek)
Make the sandwich:
Heat a wok or cast iron skillet until nearly smoking, then sauté mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of oil until tender and browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from wok, wipe down the surface and add remaining oil. Add the shallots and stir-fry until golden, about 4 minutes, then add white parts of scallion and garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Crumble in tofu, add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Whisk together vegetable broth, soy sauce, lime juice, coriander, white pepper, and curry powder and pour over tofu. Use a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir fry tofu until all of the liquid has been absorbed and tofu is golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Tofu should be moist, but not wet. Add the green tops of the scallions, fry for another minute and remove from the heat.
Slice rolls in half and toast if desired. Spread insides with mayo and distribute the tofu evenly on the sandwiches. Top each sandwich with cilantro, tomato, radish, chili sauce, and daikon pickles if using. Eat immediately but over a plate…these are messy goodness.
Aha! A vegetarian meatball that holds itself together, this is good news!
Spaghetti and “Beanballs” makes for a great weeknight meal that can be made ahead and reheated to serve. I’m looking forward to noshing on this protein and fiber-rich dish after my run tonight.
An added benefit to these balls is that you can play with them—okay that was awful humor but really, change the type of beans, herbs and seasonings to create new dishes! Think, black beans with a Latin flair e.g. green onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and mango or Mediterranean style with chopped kalamata olives, parsley, lemon juice and sumac—possibilities!
Spaghetti and Beanballs
2 cans of White Beans, drained
1 1/2-2 Roasted Red Peppers, diced
1 Yellow Onion, grated
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 c. chopped Parsley
1 c. Panko Bread Crumbs (if you find the bean mixture to be too wet, add more breadcrumbs)
1 Tbsp. Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Your favorite Marinara Sauce-25oz Jar
Parmesan Cheese for grating
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a baking sheet. If you have a food processor feel free to pulse the beans and roasted red peppers until finely chopped, otherwise in a flat-bottomed pan or skillet mash together the beans and roasted red peppers with a potato masher until you reach a chopped consistency.
Transfer this mixture to a medium-sized bowl and add the garlic, onion, bread crumbs, oregano, salt, pepper and egg. Stir until combined. Begin by taking about 2 Tablespoons of bean mixture and roll between your palms until a ‘ball’ shape is attained. Line the beanballs on the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly. Bake about 20 minutes or until the beanballs are golden in color and firm to the touch.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil to cook spaghetti noodles.
In a large skillet heat your fave marinara sauce over medium heat. Add the beanballs to the skillet with the marinara and simmer until heated through 10-15 minutes.
When the noodles are al dente and ready to serve, dish out the spaghetti onto plates and top with the marinara and beanballs, then grate parmesan cheese atop and serve.
This taco recipe is simple, quick to prepare and satisfying. Filled with real food and notes of sweet, sour and spicy paired with buttery textures of avocado and goat cheese. The honey compliments the tangy-ness of goat cheese while the lime, coriander and cumin lend a zing to the palette. This will be a go-to meal again and again.
Black Bean + Avocado + Goat Cheese Tacos with a Hint of Honey-Lime
adapted from Naturally Ella
1 1/2 Tablespoons Ground Coriander
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
Generous pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup Black Beans with liquid (can of beans)
2 Avocados, sliced
1/2 bunch of Cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Tablespoon of Honey or Agave
3-4 oz Goat Cheese, crumbled
Corn or Flour Tortillas
*Optional brown rice to add to the tacos (Rice should be prepared ahead of time)
1. In a dry skillet, over medium heat begin by toasting the spices (coriander, cumin and crushed red pepper) until fragrant. To the same skillet add the black beans with the liquid and garlic. Over medium-low heat allow the beans, spices and garlic to cook together until the liquid has dissipated and the beans have thickened, about 10 minutes. If you like your beans a bit mashed (which I do) grab your potato masher and smash some of the beans a bit.
2. While the beans are simmering, in a small bowl or pitcher whisk together the juice from the lime along with honey or agave, set aside.
3. Slice the avocado, chop the cilantro and crumble the goat cheese, set aside.
4. Just before the beans are done warm the tortillas for serving. This may be done over a gas burner flipping the tortillas over the flame until soft and warm or via the microwave.
5. To assemble tacos, place ¼ of the black bean mixture in the center of the tortilla (if using brown rice add this next), layer avocado, cilantro and crumbled goat cheese on top and lightly drizzle the lime honey/agave mixture over taco filling.
I am one who appreciates eclectic taste hence, identifying my love of collecting, antiquing and thrifting. It takes a creative mind to repurpose an item, see past the junk to seek out the gems and have an appreciation for the ‘hunt’. I enjoy antique shops, junk shops, estate sales, yard sales, thrift stores and great deals! Really, who doesn’t! With that I HAVE to share my latest great deal:
Le Creuset Tagine
Worth = $185
Paid = $12
the kicker is that I have wanted a tagine but alas it didn’t fit the budget!
While I was walking around the estate sale with aching arms from the weight of cast iron, several people asked me just what it was, I was carrying. I explained many times that it was a tagine receiving blank stares or replies of hmmmm. I realized that not everyone loves cooking and perhaps not everyone enjoys global cooking or cooking methods, yet at that estate sale I think the tagine inspired some folks!
This is what that cone-shaped thing is and how it works:
The tagine is a cooking vessel and a name of the dish prepared in said cooking vessel. Tagines are incredibly diverse in ingredients and spices and originated from all over North Africa.
The tagine is designed to trap and retain moisture within the conical shape allowing food to essentially be steamed, ensuring that it won’t dry out. The shape of the tagine assists in creating very high cooking temperatures which help to caramelize and meld flavors together resulting in a rich stew.
Tagines incorporate vegetables, meats, nuts, fruit and spices to create a rich and seasoned stew. There are meat and vegetarian tagines. Meat tagines typically utilize tougher cuts of meats which become tender after hours of cooking and steaming. Vegetarian tagines use chickpeas, root vegetables and legumes.
Tagines are typically served from the vessel and eaten with couscous, rice or bread. Typical spices include cumin, saffron, paprika cinnamon, coriander and capsicum. Regional tagines feature additions like various nuts, olives, preserved or salted lemons, prunes, dried apricots, golden raisins and pomegranate seeds. These additions are typically added towards the end of cooking for an added texture or sweetness.
This recipe will be my first attempt at tagine cooking!
Author: Katherine Martinelli
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
This vegetable-packed tagine is hearty and aromatic. Dried apricots provide just a hint of sweetness and practically melt into the dish. The recipe makes plenty, and reheats beautifully.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 small onions, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
- 2 carrots, cut into chunks
- cup chopped dried apricots
- 4 cups vegetable stock or broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 1 20-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 3 cups couscous
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1½ cups hot vegetable broth
- Pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet with lid over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, garlic, and tomato paste; cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
- Add the squash, sweet potato, carrots, and dried apricots and toss well to coat. Pour 2½ cups of the stock and the lemon juice over the vegetables and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Cook partially covered over a low heat for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chickpeas, parsley, and cilantro and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the couscous in a large baking dish and spread it into a thin, even layer. Pour over the boiling water and remaining 1½ cups broth and cover with a lid or tin foil. bring Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed into the couscous. Fluff gently with a fork.
- To serve, put the couscous on a large serving platter. Spoon the vegetable tagine on top. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and cilantro, plus pomegranate seeds if you like.
This is how the tagine turned out (next time I may toss in some zucchini or spinach for color!)
This is one of my go to meals for colder weather months or when I’m short of time….it doesn’t have a name but it’s really, really good! Not too posh yet not lacking in taste, this dish dazzles by being bright, colorful, crunchy and filling. I actually borrowed upon the idea from a restaurant down my street called, Gaia Cafe. It’s a lovely little brunch spot with mismatched tables and chairs, you serve your own coffee and can watch your food being made. They serve up vegetarian-fare subsisting mostly of stir-frys, scrambles and overall yummy hodgepodges.
Now on to how you make this thing! Because it is a stir fry you can change-up the veggies, herbs or flavors as you wish and it makes for great leftovers too.
I use the following ingredients:
Oil (I like to use Sesame for a nice nutty taste)
Red Cabbage, chopped
Kale or Spinach, chopped
Broccoli , florets
Basmati Rice, 1-2 cups
Greek Yogurt, some dollops
A mild white cheese such as mozzarella, for garnish
Green Onion to garnish
Start by preparing the rice…you know the drill boil water, dump in rice, boil, put on lid and simmer until perfectly fluffy (oh if only it came out perfect every time!)
Then take a big skillet, season it with oil and saute the onion, few cloves garlic and 2 inch piece of grated ginger. Then add vegetables beginning with the firmest such as; broccoli, cauliflower, then red cabbage, followed by kale/spinach. Water will need to be added sparingly to help steam the vegetables (if you have a steamer or a make-shift steamer it is perfectly fine to just steam the veg) at this time shake some tamari on the veg for flavor. I really like flavor so I may use a few more shakes. Saute or steam the vegetables until crisp, tender.
Next you are ready to serve this deliciousness so grab some plates for whomever you are feeding. Start with the rice, then pile on the sautéed vegetables, sprinkle on some mozzarella or other fave mild cheese, add a dollop of greek yogurt and garnish with chopped green onions. For those who really like tamari leave the bottle on the table so that they may dash some on accordingly!
Maybe someday it will have a name.