Foodie Friday!

We’ve made it through another week and now its time to celebrate! This week I’m coming to you from beautiful Palm Springs where the sun is shining and it’s always a good time for a cocktail…after meditation, yoga, and a nice long walk of course! I’m here through the weekend & enjoying most of my meals out – if you’re ever in Palm Springs, you must try Farm, Jakes, & The Workshop – but didn’t want to leave you hanging, so today on the blog I’m sharing my ‘chicken’ tostada recipe which still needs a little work.IMG_2592.JPG Of course if you’re not a vegetarian you’re welcome to sub real chicken for the vegetarian alternative but you certainly won’t notice the difference. IMG_2590

Vegetarian Chicken Tostadas

  • whole wheat tortillas
  • green cabbage (shredded)
  • red onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (rough chopped)
  • sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • taco seasoning (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika)
  • beer can
  • ’chicken’ strips
  • refried beans
  • cilantro
  • lime

Gather your ingredients & start by adding lime, cilantro, & salt to your cabbage. Then heat EVOO in a skillet on medium/high heat and add red onion, sweet potato, & garlic. To the veg., add 1/2 your spice mix & as things begin to stick, add a little beer to loosen, and keep cooking everything down. While the veg. is going, preheat the oven to 350 and brush your tortillas with EVOO. Put the refried beans in a pot with some beer and heat. Add the shredded ‘chicken’ to the veg. with the rest of the beer and spices, and pop the tortillas in the oven. After a few minutes all the flavors in your skillet should meld & the tortillas should be crispy – you’re ready to plate. Start with your tortilla, smear on some of the beans, pile up the veg., top with slaw, & sprinkle on some hot sauce…these suckers pack a punch & are super healthy! Mix up a margarita, kick back, and enjoy!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

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Foodie Friday

Happy  New Year Friends!

I hope everyone’s holiday was enjoyable & you haven’t given up on your resolutions. I tried to keep mine really simple, be kind: to myself, to others, etc… so I will keep you posted on that throughout the year. I have been keeping myself busy trying to find a new yoga home here in Walnut Creek & planning all the travel coming up – Palm Springs next week, Philadelphia & Charleston in March, Mexico in April, Virginia Beach in May, Spain in June, and Italy in July…oh boy!! With all the travel on the horizon I have been focusing on easy, comforting, and healthy recipes while I am home. This week I have been enjoying a hearty vegetarian soup & it couldn’t have been more simple to make.img_2587

Tuscan Bean Soup

  • 1 container vegetable stock 
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cans tuscan beans
  • 1 big bunch of kale 
  • 1 large white onion 
  • 6 cloves garlic 
  • 3 zucchini 
  • 1 bag carrots 
  • 1 bag celery 
  • 1 bag small potatoes 
  • 1 bunch tyme 
  • 1 sm. bunch sage 
  • salt/pepper
  • EVOO
  • Parmesan

Peel & small dice carrots, small dice celery, garlic, & onion, quarter and dice zucchini, tear kale from stems, quarter potatoes, & prep herbs while 1/4cup EVOO heats up in a large dutch oven on the stove top. Start with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, & potatoes in the pot and cook down for 10 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, beans (drained), herbs, salt & pepper – cook until it simmers. Mix in kale & zucchini and allow soup to cook together for another 10 minutes. Ladle into a bowl, sprinkle on some freshly grated Parmesan (optional), and enjoy!

With this recipe I have enough soup for lunches all week & 5 more portions frozen in mason jars for the next time I have a hankering for this delicious comfort dish.

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Happy last Friday in November friends! I feel cliche saying this but I can’t believe its almost December. The older I get, the faster time goes – I just can’t handle it. Another thing that happens when you get older…it gets harder to maintain your weight. What’s even harder, is to loose weight once you’ve slipped. In 4 months I put on about 20lbs…granted I was on a medication that fully disclosed weight gain as a symptom but I don’t know if ALLLLL that can be contributed to the meds. ANYWAY, my body is detoxing and I am continuing to be healthy – eating right and trying new forms of exercise. I starting kickboxing (more on that later), and subscribed to Kayla Itsines’s SWEAT app. for   workout inspiration. I don’t follow her diet nor do I follow the program as its designed but its fun & helping to keep me motivated.

Another piece is changing locations and schedules – it throws a kink into the diet & cooking regime. Between commuting into the city (yes, I am still doing that), taking care of my little family, I have less time to grocery shop prep food. I have to do my best with one big trip weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, to the farmers market & grocery store. With this new way of foraging I’ve needed to come up with more inspired dishes; hence, whole wheat couscous with herbs, pine nuts, cucumber & citrus. I threw this together the other night with the things in my fridge and cabinet…proof that you can make healthy, flavorful meals, if you keep a well stocked pantry & fridge.  The beautiful roasted squash is curtesy of Alison Roman‘s Dining In book that is full of delicious, easy, & unique recipes.

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Citrus Couscous with Herbs, Pine Nuts, & Cucumber 

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat couscous
  • lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (dry roasted & cooled)
  • 1 tbsp harissa oil (or regular EVOO)
  • herbs (parsley, dill, and cilantro – or whatever you like)
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Recipe:

Prepare couscous according to the package (basically boil water or stock, add couscous, turn off heat & cover for about 10 minutes  – its like the easiest thing ever) and allow to cool. While couscous is going, throw the pine nuts in a pan on medium heat, toss every few minutes until lightly browned (keep your eyes on those suckers – they burn quickly). Add remaining ingredients and BOOM, ALL DONE!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Happy Fall Friends! Its been awhile (per usual) but life is chaotic and finding the time to post anything has been a challenge. I can’t say things have been sunshine and roses but I can say I feel like things are getting better.

Its really feeling like fall here which as you know calls for comfort food. Its been hard to get in the mood for hearty dishes with temps. in the 80s but now that the evenings have cooled to the 40s, ITS TIME!!

I whipped up my first real comfort dish of the fall this week which was a whole wheat pasta with chickpeas and rainbow chard. I adapted this from a recipe I watched Giada make on The Food Network & it is one of my favorite vegetarian pasta dishes.

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Crispy Chickpea & Chard Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard (washed, dried, stems & leaves separated)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp capers (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and dried)
  • 1 tbsp pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • 3 tbsp evoo
  • 1 box ww pasta (macaroni, ditalini, etc..)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Recipe:

Place a pot of water (covered) on high heat for pasta. Grab a large pan and put on med/high heat. Fine chop stems, garlic and shallot. Add 1 tbsp evoo to the pan with pepper flakes and after a minute toss in the chickpeas – let them cook for about 10 minutes (until crispy). Add stems, capers, garlic, and shallots to the pan and turn heat to medium. Meanwhile add pasta to boiling water and throw in a decent dash of salt. Once pasta is cooked reserve 3/4 cup cooking water and drain remaining water from pasta. Take 1/4 cup pasta water add it to the pan and toss in the rough chopped chard. As soon as the chard is wilted add pasta, most of the cheese, lemon zest, the remaining evoo, and the remaining pasta water. Allow everything to come together (about 5 minutes), plate, top with remaining cheese, and serve.

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

 

Foodie Friday

Welcome to the weekend! I’ve been busy running errands in preparation for our Tahoe trip today BUT I had to get today’s delicious Foodie Friday post out before hitting the road. This week’s post is dedicated to our lenten Friday feast, Eggplant parmesan! I haven’t even made it before but I must admit, it turned out really well! photo-4

Eggplant Parmesan

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 bunch basil
  • homemade sauce or jarred sauce
  • 1 cup Mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • Oil for frying
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • salt/pepper

As long as you have time before cooking, slice the eggplant, salt both sides, & let them sit for an hour (this will remove the bitter taste). Next steps, bread the eggplant and fry them for a few minutes on each side and let them cool. As the eggplant is cooling, put a pot of water on the stove for the pasta & preheat the oven to 375. As everything is setting up, time to build the eggplant to bake – use a shallow dish or heavy tin foil – put a little sauce on the bottom, then the eggplant, then some more sauce and then top with mozzarella and most of the parmesan. Bake the eggplant for 20-30 minutes (until the cheese on top is all melty and starting to brown), cook the pasta, toss the pasta with sauce, add a few eggplant pieces to the plate, sprinkle basil and parmesan on top, and you’re all set! 

Phil and I devoured this dish in like five minutes and Phil took the leftovers to work all week – something we’ll definitely be making again soon!

’til  next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

TGIF!!!

I’m looking forward to another wonderful weekend in sunny San Francisco – Phil and I have dinner plans tonight, brunch tomorrow & Sunday we’re taking a trip to Treasure Island for a little bocce…can’t wait! But enough about this weekend, today’s Foodie Friday is a switch to something savory – a sensational salad that is sure to please any palate!photo-15Now, I know what you’re thinking…salad, seriously?!?!? BUT I swear it’s awesome and the kind of salad that you eat all on its own!

Roasted Vegetable & Warm Goat Cheese Salad

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 red ball pepper
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 bag mixed greens
  • 1 brick goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1 cup panic bread crumbs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • approx. 3 cups oil for frying
  • favorite balsamic dressing (balsamic, evoo, honey, salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, salt & pepper)

Preheat the oven to 375 and prep veggies: trim asparagus, clean mushrooms, and remove stem from pepper. Season veggies with EVOO, salt & pepper, and roast @ 375 for 5 to 7 min. Pull asparagus & mushrooms from the oven & turn temp to 400 & roast the pepper for another 5 min. While the veggies roast, peel & thinly slice onions, place medium pot on stove with oil for frying, and put goat cheese in the freezer. Heat the oil to medium/high, prep egg/milk mix & flour dredge for the onions – dip a handful of onions in the egg, then flour dredge & place in the oil for 3-5 minutes until onions crisp. Once you’re finished, make the goat cheese balls: slice into generously thick rounds put panko in dish, dip cheese in egg,then flour, then egg, and then panko to completely crust the cheese. Once those are all set, pop back in the freezer for a few min. & prep the salad: chop the veggies, mix with greens and dressing, and top with crispy onions. Now that the salad is ready, fry the cheese for 2 min. on each side…tap on a paper towel before putting atop the salad – VOILA!

I know it seems like a lot of prep but it really doesn’t take more than 25-30 minutes and its amazing! I like to make a lot of the goat cheese balls at once and keep them in the freezer which cuts down on prep BUT trust me, it’s totally worth it – the flavor combinations are amazing and the differences in texture and temperature are tantalizing to the palate.

Enjoy!

’til next time, keep smiling 🙂

Foodie Friday

It’s the freakin’ weekend…woohoo! I’m so excited for this weekend because it’s one of the first ‘big meets’ for my swimmers! MLK weekend is perfect for a three day event and I know the kids are ready to swim fast! They work sooo hard & are a constant source of inspiration!

This Foodie Friday recipe is not only healthy and delicious BUT it’s incredibly easy to make, great for leftovers, and will always leave you satisfied!20140116-223908.jpgZucchini Lasagna

  • 1 Fennel Bulb (Roasted)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (Roasted)
  • 1 Sm. Eggplant (Roasted)
  • 1 Sm. Sweet Onion (Roasted)
  • 1 c. Mushrooms (Sauteed)
  • 1 shallot (Sauteed)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (Sauteed)
  • 3 Sm. Zucchini (Sliced in strips and grilled)
  • 1 c. Non-fat Ricotta cheese
  • 1 c. Reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c. Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1 1/2 c. Marinara Sauce
  • 3 tbsp. fresh (or dry) Italian herbs

ROAST veggies @ 400 for about 30 minutes. After veggies roast and cool, roughly chop.

SAUTE shallots and garlic in EVOO on medium until translucent/aromatic and add mushrooms to cook for 5-7 minutes. Mix in roasted veggies and cook together on medium for 3 minutes. Allow to cool on kitchen towel or paper towels to absorb some of the excess moisture.

GRILL zucchini strips (grill pan or outdoor grill) making sure to season strips with salt/pepper, brush the grill/grill pan with EVOO and cook on med-high for 2 minutes a side. Similar to the veggie mixture, allow strips to briefly cool on a kitchen towel or paper towels to absorb excess moisture.20140116-225908.jpgLayer sauce, zucchini strips (instead of pasta sheets), cheeses and filling just like you would a regular lasagna, sprinkling with herbs each layer. Top with a little extra grated Parmesan and bake @350 for 30minutes (broil in high for extra 4minutes turning half way through).

This is total comfort food and it’s totally delicious! While my swimmers indulge in pastas before their big meet, I’m going to indulge in this gluten free, InSaNeLy delicious zucchini lasagna.

Happy Friday…enjoy!