Roasted Cauliflower, Feta, and Orzo Salad

Happy Friday everyone! This is the first recipe that I made from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings, and it was so damn good! It’s pretty filling too. I made this over Christmas break and my family, great-grandma and boyfriend all loved it. The flavors blend really well together. If you’re in a “no carbs” phase, you can omit the orzo pasta, but I think it’s better with it. Maybe try it on a high carb or cheat day because it’s worth it. Also, sorry I suck at remembering to take pictures! I’ll try to do better. Keyword: try.

A couple of things to note: The red onions are pretty strong so next I make it I’ll use a little less. It’s all about personal preference. Also, a staple in my house is fresh ground pepper (ya, know… they one with the grinder on top). You can use just plain ol’ ground pepper but fresh ground pepper has better flavor).  Chrissy also makes a note in her recipe about feta. The French kind of feta cheese is a little creamier and milder, the Greek is a little saltier. I personally like the Greek kind better, it’s whatever your little heart desires.


 

For the cauliflower and orzo:
1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets (approximately 5 cups)
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (All I use now is fresh ground pepper. It has better taste that the stuff that’s already ground)
1 cup orzo pasta

For the dressing and salad:
3 tablespoons  olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2/3 cup dried cherries
4 cups baby spinach

cauliflower

Directions

Make the cauliflower and Orzo: Preheat  the oven to 400°F. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, the garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until softened and the edges are charred, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the orzo according to the package directions, but for 1 or 2 minutes less than called for (so it’s just a little underdone). Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, drain well, and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil right in the colander.

Make the dressing and toss the salad: In a big bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked orzo, roasted cauliflower, onion, feta, and cherries and toss until coated with the dressing. Throw the spinach on top and toss one more time.


Recipe inspired by: Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat. Copyright © 2016 by Chrissy Teigen

Greek Spaghetti Squash Boats

It’s been such a long time. So much has happened in between my last post and this one.  I took a hiatus to focus on other things  but I’m back! I want to continue to inspire, help and inform everyone of delicious healthy recipes.   I received Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings, for Christmas and I’m cooking my way through it. I’m on a mission to make them as healthy as possible. Stay tuned friends!

Greek Spaghetti Squash Boats

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 medium spaghetti squash, cooked and sliced in half
1 cup of chopped baby spinach
1/2 cup of diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of diced cucumber
2 T of diced red onions
two small cans of black olives, chopped ( I bought already chopped olives.. time saver)
1 1/3 cups of diced grilled chicken
2/3 cup of feta cheese

Tzatziki dressing
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, finely grated and drained
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients. For a thinner dressing, blend ingredients together.
There are many ways to cook spaghetti squash, you can cook it whatever way you want. I halved the squash, scrapped out the seeds, sprinkled with a little olive oil, salt and ground pepper. Then I placed the squash cut side down, and baked at 425 for 35 minutes.
Stir spinach leaves into the spaghetti, then top each half with equal amounts of the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, and feta. If you made the dressing drizzle to taste over the boat.
Scoop the squash into a bowl, or enjoy it in the boat itself.

 

 

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017!

Good vibes and blessings abound.

xx

 

 

Spicy Cauliflower Burgers

I’m really trying to keep my word and post all the other recipe I’ve made over the past month and a half. These vegetarian burgers are the closest thing that I’ve come to the same structure as an actual burger. This patty didn’t fall apart either! Even though black bean burgers (or any version of this) are incredibly delicious but every time I’ve made them they tend to fall apart. Which is quite annoying! You could totally use this recipe to stuff turkey burgers. Even if you’re not vegetarian you should give this a try. Shake up your life… live a little!


 

Spicy Cauliflower Burgers
Cook time: approx. 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 6 cups florets)
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil, divided
  • a few generous shakes of spicy seasoning – cumin, chili powder, cayenne, etc.
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs (or ground almonds)
  • ¾ cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 diced serrano peppers

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the quinoa (2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa.. or if you are using packaged then prepare according to package)
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets, transfer to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices. I used garlic, cayenne, and cumin.  Roast for 20-30 minutes. Let cool. Pulse through a food processor to form small pieces that stick together. You don’t need to puree the cauliflower but we do want enough mushiness so it’ll stick together.
  3. Combine the  cauliflower with the quinoa, garlic salt, breadcrumbs, Pepperjack cheese, eggs, serrano peppers,  and another teaspoon or two of spicy seasoning if you so choose. This made about 8 patties for me.
  4. In an oiled pan over medium heat, cook the burgers until golden brown on each side, flipping very carefully to avoid breaking. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Top the burger with whatever you want. I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life.
**In terms of level of spiciness that’s completely up to you. Don’t be shy to add more spices or adjust – especially after you fry and taste one of them.

 

Recipe inspired by: http://pinchofyum.com/spicy-cauliflower-burgers

Photo cred: Yours truly

 

 

Have wonderful Tuesday. Sending positive vibes your way!

Happy International Women’s Day 🙂

Much love.

Sweet Potato, Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Happy 2016 y’all! I can’t believe how fast 2015 went… but good riddance! I can’t wait to see what this year brings. I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted (I know I know…I’m starting to sound like a broken record) but It’s been a busy month and a half. I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks with my family back in Virginia, one of my best friends and my sister came to Dallas for NYE and I started a new job. Needless to say I’ve been trying to get back into the whole going back to work (after not working for almost 3 months). Waking up at 545 again is not fun and its taken a little time to get used to that again…but I have a new job so I can’t complain. Between work, getting back into my gym and cooking routine, and taking care of my puppy I’ve been really busy. To top that off I’ve been sick for 3.5 weeks BUT I am finally feeling better.. which means I’ll start cooking and hopefully posting a little more regularly. Anyway, enough of my babbling.

This week I made another recipe from my Thug Kitchen cookbook. I absolutely  love this book. Everything looks and sounds so good.. and so far I haven’t been disappointed. This recipe was so damn good! I even got my roommate to eat it and love it and she hates sweet potatoes. My roommate said it reminded her of a really good bean and cheese burrito (but much healthier). This recipe is vegan with exception of the broth (didn’t  have any veggie broth on hand) and the cheese. I could never give up cheese. It’s too good.

 


 

Sweet potato, squash  and black bean enchiladas
Cook time: about  1 hour

Ingredients

Filing:
1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound) chopped in to small cubed pieces*
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, grated (like on a cheese grater… which will make about 1 cup)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 15oz can of black beans

1 pack of corn or flour tortillas

*See step 2 under directions for clarification.

Sauce:
2 1/4 cups broth ( I used chicken)
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 1/2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp of garlic powder
2 tsp of soy sauce
a dash of cayenne pepper (and by dash I sprinkle  a lot.. how spicy is up to you)

Directions
1. Dump all of the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Use a whisk to stir the sauce and make sure the paste doesn’t start sticking to the pan. You’ll leave this simmering for about 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken up a little as it cooks. Once that’s done turn off the heat and let it cool.

2.   The recipe says you can steam it… I think it’s easier to cook it in the microwave. You can cook the sweet potato however you want. If you choose to steam the potato, you’ll want to peel it and cut it into cubes before you steam.

If you choose the microwave you’ll need to  poke holes in the sweet potato and place it in the microwave for 5 minutes then turn it over and cook it for another 5. It’ll be very hot and squishy (so you won’t need to cube it) . Let it cool and then take of the skin.

After cooking it you’ll smash the pieces together.

*You’ll want to preheat your oven to 375

3. While that is cooling, add your oil to the pan and  take your chopped onion and sauté it until it’s brown. Then toss in your grated squash and cook for another minute or so. Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic, and black beans. Cook all this together for 2-3 minutes then add in your sweet potato and turn off the heat. Mix well.

4. Grab a baking dish (ie:9×13 or whatever size you have) and cover the entire bottom of the dish with the enchilada sauce ( and by cover the entire bottom I don’t mean use all the sauce.. you still have to put some on top). Fill a tortilla with the filling. It’s completely up to you how much or little you put. I put a medium amount because I had 10 tortillas that I wanted to fill. You should know how to roll an enchilada… and if not please use google before you attempt this recipe.

5. Cover the remaining enchiladas with the reaming sauce, I covered these little bad boys with fiesta style cheese. Then cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven for 20 minutes. Once that’s done remove the foil and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  Then voila!

Also here is what the actual recipe is. Enjoy

IMG_8508IMG_8509

Recipe cred: Thug Kitchen Cookbook, Pages 155/156

Photo cred: Me

Wishing everyone positive vibes this week!

Much love and happy healthy eating

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

This recipe (and I use the word term recipe loosely here because this one I just made up) is another quick and easy one. These are one of my favorites! I’ve added vegetables, seasonings, and sometimes I get pretty fancy and top the burger with an sunny side up fried egg ( don’t knock it until you try it!).  There are tons out there that you can find if you don’t like mine. I don’t really eat bread anymore so I use lettuce or spinach for the “buns”.  I also top the burger with mustard (I don’t like ketchup or mayo). As far as sides you could make homemade french fries, any sort of vegetables. Pretty sure when I made this I made asparagus and broccoli with it.


Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Cook time: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • Ground Turkey ( 1 lb or more)
  • Spices (I use garlic, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, and paprika)
  • Chopped Jalapeños or Serrano peppers
  • Chopped Onions
  • 1 can of  Rotel tomatoes (I used hot)

 

Directions 

  1. You should have the ground turkey already defrosted.
  2. Chop up the onion and jalapeños.  Open the can of Rotel
  3. Toss the turkey into a big bowl, add the spices, onions, jalapeños.
  4. Next you’ll use your clean hands to make balls. You can make them whatever size you want.
  5. Once you get those made then you add some olive oil to a medium sized pan and turn the heat to medium-high.
  6. You’ll place the burger in the oil and cook.  Make sure to brown each side until down ( basically no pink).

 

Recipe cred: My brain

Photo cred: My iPhone

 

Happy Eating!

Quinoa Oatmeal

The other week I ordered my first cookbook! I am stoked to start my collection. The book I bought is called Thug Kitchen and it’s amazing! If you’ve never heard of it before you should watch this promo video (click here). Forewarning the video and book contain a lot of swear words.. if that offends you…get over it because this book has some delicious freakin recipes. Oh, and it’s just happens to be a vegan cookbook (obviously you can add meat if you wish. No I am not vegan but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat the yummy non-meat recipes).  I’ve only made one thing so far (hence the post today). But everything that I make will be featured on the blog.  So get ready my friends!

thug

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am NOT a morning person. (I’ve kinda been forced to become one over the last couple of months because of my crazy puppy Piper. I am slowly teaching her to sleep in though.. don’t worry ;))  Even though I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day I like sleep. It’s hard to budget extra time (at least for me) in the morning when I already struggle. BUT this is a great recipe to make the night before so you can just heat it up and go or even eat it at work.  The best thing about this is that you can add fruit, spices, etc. I personally like this with cinnamon and a little brown sugar (and when I say little I mean like maybe 2 small pinches) or stevia/honey if you don’t want the sugar.  This is filled with protein, and will keep you full. Plus it’s so hearty and warm on cold days.


 

Quinoa Oatmeal

Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 4 cups of water
  • sweetener of your choice
  • fruits/spices
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk*
*When I made this recipe all I had was whole milk and I wasn’t about to go to the store just for almond milk… and obviously this isn’t technically vegan with normal milk but it is healthy!

 

Directions

  1.  Heat up in the water in a pot or in the microwave until it’s boiling
  2. n a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the oats and stir until the oats smell a little toasty ( I did mine for about 3 minutes). Add the quinoa and oats to the boiling water.
  3. Once it is boiling, turn down the heat ( I personally put it on a 2-2.5) and let it simmer uncovered. Leave it for 25-30 minutes. Once it’s done add the milk and turn off the heat.

 

 

Recipe cred: Thug Kitchen (Eat like you give a F**), page 3

Photo cred: (Insert brown emoji girl with hand up)

 

Happy eating!