One of my favorite times of the year is the spring when the Farmer’s Market starts to get bigger with more and more farmers who start to bring a larger variety of produce and goodies. I’ve mentioned in the past that I like to make a menu for the week (more so my kids don’t complain they want something else than what is served), but what I haven’t mentioned is how I love going to the Farmer’s Market to do my weekly produce shopping. Sometimes, I will even tailor some of my dishes to include produce I find at the Market.
Recently, I partnered with our local Farmer’s Market (Danville Farmer’s Market) and I will be creating recipes for them a few times a month in the hopes that I can bring awareness to locally farmed produce at all of our farmer’s market. Having fresh, organic produce and supporting the local farms is a win-win.
This Spring Crudites Platter is so beautiful, we all had a bit of hard time digging in. No one wanted to mess it up. Ah well, our stomachs won that round. The beauty of this platter is that you are not restricted to the same produce I picked up. Pick up what your farmer’s market has, just make it colorful.
Here is what I used:
Purple Cauliflower (chop these into big chunks)
Rainbow Baby Carrots (trim the stems off and save to make pesto – be sustainable!)
Watermelon Radishes (slice these a little thick into rounds to give a beautiful effect)
Cucumbers (I sliced these on the diagonal for aesthetics. Feel free to slice into rounds or sticks to make them easier to serve)
As for the hummus, I chose purple sweet potato and red beets to be the base of each hummus. For the Red Beets, I roasted it with garlic, then pulsed it with a little tahini and a few other ingredients. This is by far one of my favorite variations on hummus. Paired with all that beautiful produce, it’s perfect!
For the Purple Sweet Potato, I baked it in the oven then pulsed it with tahini as well. Though the idea behind both hummus’ are the same, the flavor profile differ vastly. Yet both are addicting.
I hope you have a chance to make a beautiful Spring Crudites Platter like this for your next gathering. I promise you will love it.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Place sweet potatoes, beets, and garlic in individual foil sheets. Drizzle beets and garlic with olive oil. Wrap each food tightly into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove and let cool before opening the foil wraps.
For the Sweet Potato Hummus:
Remove foil wrap and peel skin. Chop into rough chunks and add to food processor. Add roasted garlic cloves and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with parsley, a drizzle of oil, and/or roasted chickpeas.
For the Roasted Beet and Garlic Hummus:
Remove beets from foil and chop into rought chunks.
Add into food processor with roasted garlic and the remaining ingredients.
Blend until smooth (about 2-3 minutes)
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with roasted chickpeas, toasted sesame seeds, and/or a drizzle of olive oil.
To Assemble the Crudites platter:
Place the bowls of the hummus in the center of the platter. Add the larger veggies first, i.e. cauliflower and carrots.
Fill in with medium sized veggies, i.e. cucumbers and snap peas.
Add the smaller veggies, i.e. radishes and cherry tomatoes.
Finally garnish with watermelon radish slices and edible flowers if you have any.
**Note: I used a whole bulb of garlic and divided between the two hummus dips as I knew I was making them at the same time (and a little extra garlic is always appreciated). If you are making only one hummus dip, follow the instructions of roasting cloves instead of the whole bulb.
Crisp, cold watermelon tossed with tangy feta and fresh mint is the perfect summertime salad to have on a hot day. This refreshing salad is a great side to have with grilled chicken, steak, and even hamburgers! Continue reading “Summertime Watermelon Salad”→
Naturally gluten-free, chewy a crisp exterior, these Vegan Amaretti Cookies are a delicious treat to have with your afternoon coffee, or to pack in a holiday tin, or to simple devour like I tend to. Continue reading “Vegan Amaretti Cookies”→
Vibrant, fresh, mildly spicy, and packed with flavor, this Cilantro Chutney is a necessity in Indian cuisine. This particular chutney is made using fresh cilantro, mint, curry leaves, green chilies, cashews and spices. Continue reading “Cilantro Chutney”→
This one pan salmon is perfect for a busy weeknight meal. Ready in 15 minutes, it’s a nutritious meal the whole family will enjoy!
I love the idea of using just one pot or a pan. Not only is cleanup easy but you don’t spend forever in the kitchen cooking after a long hard day of work. Don’t get me wrong, the kitchen is my happy place. But weeknights are crazy when the kids are hungry and don’t have the patience to wait for me to cook an elaborate dinner.
My favorite part is that the girls eat the rainbow veggies I add on the side. The colors look so pretty and the girls love their rainbows as much as I do. Chopping the veggies and seasoning them doesn’t take very long and adding that glaze on the salmon with a little honey and mustard mix is perfect to brighten up the salmon.
I kept the seasoning for the veggies pretty simple – salt, pepper, and a little dried oregano. Why? Because I want the salmon to shine too. The veggies have their color that attracts you to them so the salmon should have something too, right? The glaze is very easy to make. Just mix a little dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and of course fresh squeezed lemon juice. Brush it on to the salmon and voila! All that is left to do is bake!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious One Pan Salmon with Rainbow Veggies!
Line up all the veggies on a sheet pan as well as the salmon filets.
Drizzle the oil over all of the veggies, and then season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Gently mix to make sure the seasonings have evenly coated the veggies.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the glaze and whisk well to emulsify.
Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze onto the salmon (if you are using skinless salmon, make sure to brush both sides of the salmon).
Bake for 13-15 minutes in the oven then remove.
Let cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Notes: *I prefer to use fresh salmon for this recipe, however, if you are using frozen salmon, make sure to thaw it at room temperature to allow for even cooking time. *If you would like a crispy crust, stop baking 1-2 minutes early, change oven setting to broil and keep in oven for another 2-3 minutes after the baking time is over. Watch carefully so as not to burn.
Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to eat any vegetable. Having several different colors and cooking them together is the best in my book! You get plenty of vitamins and minerals and the different colors are just so pretty to look at! These Roasted Rainbow Veggies are the perfect way to serve your veggies for adults and kids, making them fun, easy, and healthy.
Rainbows have always been popular in our home, with me always telling my girls to eat their colors and the girls loving anything to do with rainbows, unicorns, and princesses. Roasting the veggies in a rainbow on a sheet pan is about the easiest recipe I have ever made. The vast array of vitamins and minerals that we get to eat with our dinner makes this one of my healthiest recipes.
For my colors, I chose beets, carrots, yellow squash, asparagus, and purple potato. You don’t have to stick to those same colors. Honestly, go for what you find in your fridge. Here are a few ideas to get you started for your own Roasted Rainbow Veggies:
RED: beets, tomatoes, red bell pepper
ORANGE: carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin
YELLOW: yellow squash, yellow bell pepper, golden beets, yellow onions
GREEN: zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts
BLUE/PURPLE: purple sweet potatoes, purple carrots, eggplant, purple onions
So now that you have options, how do you make your own Roasted Rainbow Veggies? All you need is a good chopping board, a sharp knife, and a sheet pan. As to the flavors, my standard is to add a little dried oregano for taste with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes (times do vary based on the type of veggies you choose), and serve it up with any dinner.
I can’t wait to see what veggies you chose to make your rainbow. Be sure to let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram or Facebook!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these quick, delicious, and healthy Roasted Rainbow Veggies!
Spring is almost here. I can feel it in the air and I’m so excited! It’s one of my favorite seasons when all the flowers bloom, the grass is luscious green, and the weather is perfect! This amazing lentil salad is a nod to that feeling and to welcome spring in my life because I cannot wait a moment longer.
Perfectly cooked, tender lentils, crisp and juicy bell peppers, fresh mint, sweet pomegranates, sharp onions, the crunchy cucumbers all drizzled with a fresh basil vinaigrette. How can you say no to that? While the lentils are cooking, you can chop the veggies and make the vinaigrette so all you have to do is toss the salad together when the lentils are done. Make this on the weekend as part of your meal prep, have it for lunch, or even serve it for dinner as a side. It’s so versatile, quick, easy, and delicious.
Not only does this wonderful lentil salad taste good and is quick to make, it is packed with protein and nutrients. Check it out:
Great source of protein – 13 gm per serving
23% DRI of Fiber
30% DRI of Iron
24% DRI of Phosphorous
77% DRI of Vit. C
127% DRI of Folic Acid
60% DRI of Vit. K
In addition to how nutrient dense this salad is and delicious it is to gobble up, I love how versatile it is. Add in some goat cheese for a little decadence, change out the mint to parsley if the mint is too strong for you, add in a few more veggies for more crunch or even toss in some nuts if you please.
So… try out this delicious Springtime Lentil Salad and welcome the new season with me!
If you have been following me then you know how much I love my bowls. Experimenting with different flavor profiles, playing around with new dressings, and oftentimes using whatever vegetables are left in the fridge waiting to be saved from their last moments are the best part of creating my new bowl.
My brussels sprouts were facing a similar fate as mentioned above. I had enough left that I could create a whole new dish with just them, but so few that I didn’t want to waste them either. Grain bowls are perfect for these types of situations especially if you are using a variety of different ingredients.
This one turned out so delicious that I actually went out and bought more brussels sprouts even though I am trying to move on to spring veggies! We’ve now had this bowl 4 times in the last 2 weeks and no one in my household minds – in fact, they love it !
I added in some sweet potato for a little starch, sweetness, and fiber, and avocado for protein. As for the dressing, keeping it simple was the best route. I made a honey dijon dressing that worked wonders. The tang from the dijon and the sweet honey are a perfect balance to the bowl.
So…what are you waiting for? Try this delicious Brussels Sprouts Grain Bowl and become a fan too!
Growing up, my Mom would make these sprouted moong beans for dinner often. I remember my brother and I were not big fans and would hate eating them. Now that I’m an adult, maybe a switch has flipped? I don’t know but I definitely love this recipe and could easily eat this dish 2-3 times a week. Thanks Mom!
WHAT ARE SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Sprouted moong beans are basically moong beans that have been soaked in water then left in a warm place to germinate. They are very popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking though many people across the globe are starting to embrace this food more and more.
Some of the more popular ways to eat sprouted moong beans is to add them in to salads and sandwiches, however, some of the more traditional ways to make them is to make a curry, a sabzi, and even dosas out of these delicious babies.
WHY SHOULD I EAT SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Because they are a powerhouse of nutrients. These legumes are one of the best sources of plant based protein providing ~14gm in 1 cup cooked. Take a look at some of these other benefits:
Fiber: 15.4 grams
Folate (B9): 80% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Manganese: 30% of the RDI
Magnesium: 24% of the RDI
Vitamin B1: 22% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 20% of the RDI
Iron: 16% of the RDI
Copper: 16% of the RDI
Potassium: 15% of the RDI
Zinc: 11% of the RDI
WHERE CAN I GET SPROUTED MOONG BEANS?
Moong Beans are easy to sprout at home (I love this method provided by Piping Pot Curry) or you can find them at your local Indian or Asian grocery store.
So now that you know what I know about these delicious and nutritious legumes, let me tell you how to make them. This particular recipe is my mom’s (I’ve not made a single change to it because it’s so perfect the way it is!) and I love the simplicity of it as it carries a depth of flavor too.
There are two methods of making this dish. One is in the instant pot and the other over the stove. I’ve given both versions in the recipe card below so feel free to try both to see which you prefer!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these Sprouted Moong Beans as much as we do!
If I gave my youngest Fish and Couscous everyday for the rest of her life, I wouldn’t hear a single complaint. She loves it that much and we usually have it on the menu biweekly. The Garlic Lemon Sauce is absolutely finger licking delicious! Paired with a flaky and tender Mahi Mahi, well, you will also be adding this fish to your rotation.
Everyone says eating fish is healthy and to incorporate it more in your diet. But why? Here are few good reasons why:
Fish are high in Omega-3 fatty acids which help lower cholesterol and heart disease
Rich in Iron
Rich in Vit. B which promotes healthy brain function
Rich in Potassium which promotes a healthy heart
Fish can be tricky to cook sometimes because it is very easy to overcook leading to a tough meat (trust me, I’ve done this on many occasions). A few tricks I rely on to serve the best flaky fish are:
Be sure your filtes are about 6-7oz each, with at least 1-inch thickness. If your portions are thin or too small, they’ll tend to overcook.
Always pat dry excess moisture from the fish; this step is super important, as it affects how well your fish will brown. A paper towel works wonders
Buy fresh or quick-frozen, high quality fish… wild is best, and will provide best flavor.
These skewers are by far one of my favorite snacks! Often times, if I am hosting a party, they usually make an appearance. The best part, my girls love to eat them too (minus the basil and glaze)! Super easy to assemble, healthy, and 5 simple ingredients. You really can’t beat that!
For the skewers, I kept the Basil in the caprese, but the addition of rosemary gives it a little boost. Rosemary can be strong which is why just the hint from the skewers is perfect here. Bite sized, creamy mozzarella, tangy grape tomatoes, sharp basil, the sweet balsamic glaze finished off by fresh rosemary is definitely going to be one of the best foods I eat today!
Making the balsamic glaze is pretty simple too! I used to be nervous about making the glaze because it seemed too daunting. Then one day, I figured, I’ll try it and see what happens. I can’t believe I was ever so nervous! Literally I’m boiling balsamic vinegar with a little brown sugar and that’s pretty much it! Oh.My.God. It tastes so good, I could drizzle this glaze on pretty much anything!
So what are you waiting for? Try out these delicious skewers and impress your guests with a fancy-ish appetizer!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these Rosemary Caprese Skewers with a Balsamic Glaze.
**This recipe was originally posted Oct. 2015 and updated Jan. 202**
I first had this smoothie when I was single in San Francisco living with one of my favorite roommates, Mamta. It actually originated from her when she made it post workout. I had it and fell in love instantly (though I did think she was a bit crazy for putting an avocado in a smoothie, now I think I was crazy for thinking that!).
This smoothie is a perfect post workout, morning breakfast, or afternoon snack option. It’s filled with energy and protein (a little over 13 gm!), and plenty of macro and micronutrients. And what a healthier alternative to a glass of juice that is probably more heavy on the sugar.
Since first having Mamta’s smoothie, I’ve made it countless times, adjusting the ratios and slightly changing the original recipe to suit my taste. I don’t use any sweeteners in this smoothie. Instead, I save my extremely ripe bananas and use them to naturally sweeten this drink. If you don’t have a ripe banana, feel free to add 1-2 tsp of maple syrup or honey.
I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Avocado Banana Smoothie!
Since making my New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier this year, I have significantly cut down on snacking, especially on fried foods or foods that are calorie dense but not necessarily nutrient dense. But I do love snacking and therein lies the problem of how will I curb my cravings for the sweets and carbs that I so love. In this quest to eat healthier, I decided I could not forgo my beloved snacks and therefore started a mission to create my own healthier ones.
Recently I posted the Almond Butter Breakfast Bars recipe to help me get a good start to my day and I’ve realized that I love incorporating almond flour into my recipes. These Almond Cacao Energy Bites are a perfect balance of cacao powder, almond flour, and dates. The cacao powder provides the perfect balance of chocolate and nutrition as it’s filled with antioxidants and magnesium!
The almond flour of course provides protein and a nutty flavor that balances out the sweetness in these bites. The dates also add quite a bit of sweetness to these bites and are known to have a high sugar content but are fairly low on the glycemic index and have a high fiber content. These energy bites are the perfect way to satisfy my sweet tooth and stay healthy. Try them out for yourself and you will love them just as much as I do.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy these delicious Almond Cacao Energy Bites!
Looking for a healthy way to get protein without compromising flavor? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This Vegan Protein Bowl has hints of spicy, tangy, herby, and definitely brings a Middle Eastern vibe in each bite!
Simple to make and ready in just 30 minutes, you have got to try this delicious bowl. So let me tell you a little bit about the ingredients I chose. For my grain, I used quinoa because it packs more of a protein punch but you can definitely use any other grain. Bulgur or Farro would be excellent substitutes to keep in line with the Middle Eastern food theme.
For added protein and crunch, I used garbanzo beans. I love snacking on these so I actually made double the amount and the girls ended up eating most of them!
As to the veggies, I used a few different ones as I wanted to get the colors in. To give it some warmth, I roasted the cauliflower with the garbanzos and to keep a cool factor, I made a salad of tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, and fresh herbs.
So it’s not just what ingredients I use but how much nutrition this delicious bowl provides. In addition to almost 20 gm of protein, you are also getting:
Half of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of Fiber
40% of DRI Iron
More than the recommended intake of Folic Acid
Meeting at least 20-50% of most of your Vitamins and Minerals DRI
The best part of making this recipe is that even though there are several different steps and techniques, you can multitask and get them all done at once without chaos in the kitchen! Roast your veggies, while your quinoa cooks and you are making the Avocado Salsa! So simple and easy!
Last but not least, I added a hummus dressing to pull it altogether. I love making my own dressings and there is no way I would leave one out of a bowl this delicious. And to be honest, I really think the hummus dressing really marries all the flavors together so perfectly. So what are you waiting for?! Try this recipe out and let me know what you think. Leave a comment below, give it a star rating, or tag me on Facebook or Instagram!
From my kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this delicious Middle Eastern Vegan Protein Bowl!
1 lemon, half juiced and the other half cut in wedges
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 tsp black pepper, divided
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
For the Hummus dressing:
1/2 c garlic hummus
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make your spice blend by combining cumin, paprika, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ginger in a bowl. Mix well to make sure all the spices are well incorporated. Set Aside.
In a bowl, add cauliflower, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and half of the spice blend. Toss well to make sure all of the florets are coated evenly. Transfer to one side of a baking sheet lined with a silicone mate or parchment paper.
In the same bowl, add the garbanzo beans, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, and the remaining half of the spice blend. Toss well to make sure all of the beans are coated evenly. Transfer to the other side of the same baking sheet used for the cauliflower. Bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, combine the water, 1/2 tsp salt, and rinsed quinoa. Bring to a boil on high heat, then lower the heat to medium high and cook for 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat and cover to steam.
While the quinoa is cooking, in a bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, red onions, parsley, and mint. Add to this the remaining 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil, juice of half a lemon, the remaining 1 tsp salt, and remaining 1 tsp black pepper. Toss well to combine. Set aside.
For the hummus dressing, in an air tight jar, combine the hummus, dijon mustard, lemon juice and water. Seal the lid and shake vigorously to combine. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add water 1 Tbsp at a time and shake until you have your desired consistency.
Divide the quinoa evenly into 4 bowls. Add about 1 cup of the avocado salsa, 1/4 of the cauliflower and 1/4 of the garbanzos in each bowl. Top off with the hummus dressing.
The holidays this year have been as non-traditional as possible but that hasn’t kept many of us from cooking and baking our favorite foods. I have definitely been doing my share of baking, cooking and eating massive amounts of desserts, drinks, and carbs. As always, this leads me to making New Year’s resolutions which have standards that are set too high. Instead of setting impossible standards and going on an extreme diet, one of my resolutions is to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods. Less processed, more home made where I can control the ingredients, especially the salt and sugar.
To help “reboot” our bodies and cleanse it of the all the heavy (and mostly unhealthy) foods eaten over the holidays, I’ve compiled a list of 21 Healthy Recipes to Kick Start the New Year. It is my sincere hope that this list will help you eat healthier without having to sacrifice great taste. Welcome to 2021 everyone!
Breakfast Oat Muffins
An easy make ahead, these delicious oat muffins are versatile and fun to make with kids. Grab one on your way to work, school, or your home office!
Almond Coconut Porridge
A delicious porridge that you can make ahead the night before and add so many healthy toppings to, this Almond Coconut Porridge is the perfect healthy start to your day!
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Steel cut oats cooked with apples and cinnamon to give you a creamy apple pie taste are one of our favorite types of oats. Try them out and you will want a bowl of this Apple Pie Oatmeal over and over again!
Breakfast Soufflé Bites
These easy egg bites filled with fresh and healthy veggies. Perfect to make ahead, freeze and reheat for busy mornings.
Sweet Potato and Beet Hash with Fried Eggs
A superfood dish that can be used for breakfast or brunch, this delicious meal is the perfect start to any day. Packed with fiber, non-dairy calcium, beets help fight inflammation, detox the body, and boost energy!
Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad
The perfect winter salad that keeps you full, nourished and packs a punch with a variety of flavors and textures, this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great lunch or dinner option!
Rainbow Fajita Bowl
Filled with colorful and fresh veggies, this healthy bowl is low on carbs and calories but provides a good source of nutrition.
Paneer Cabbage Cups
A fun healthy option with a bit of Indian fusion, these Paneer Cabbage Cups are light and filling.
Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles
Who says waffles have to be for breakfast only? Or that they have to be sweet? These savory lentil waffles are filled with 4 different types of lentils and lots of veggies. Have a couple with a side of Masala Salsa or Chutney, you can’t go wrong!
15 minute Masala Pasta
Make a batch of this pasta sauce filled with veggies and delicious spices to freeze and use for any meal. Combine it with your gluten free or fresh pasta and you will have a veggie loaded pasta that even fussy kids will eat in less than 15 minutes!
A light and healthy salad, this Carpaccio is very simple to make and disappears just as quickly! A great afternoon snack or side salad, you must try this!
Tomato Avocado Cucumber Salad
Packed with protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruit, this delicious salad is perfect to take to work or have on the side with a meal!
A nutrient-dense salad that is light to eat and will make you wanting more, it’s very simple and quick to put together.
Roasted Masala Chickpeas
A healthy snack that will keep you going when you have munchies in the afternoon. Store these in an air tight container and enjoy whenever your tummy desires!
Roasted Chili Almonds
Another great snack to have or one to add to a cheese board, these Roasted Chili Almonds take only 5 minutes to make. Store in an airtight container and enjoy for up to 2 weeks.
Rainbow Lentil Stew
This stew is filled with fresh, colorful veggies that are packed with nutrition and flavor. You can make it in a dutch oven or slow cooker and enjoy it for one of the many rainy days ahead this winter and spring.
Sweet & Spicy Harvest Bowl
Just as it’s name implies, there are plenty of sweet and spicy notes in this bowl. Beets, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, and pears over a bed of quinoa is just the beginning of the deliciousness here. The veggies are roasted with chipotle powder to give it hints of spicy and smoky that bring together the perfect amount of pepper.
On a consistent rotation in our home, this Spinach Dal has becoming popular. Taking only 10 minutes to make, you can’t go wrong with this delicious Indian lentil dish.
Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
This Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash is filled with fruits and veggies and topped with a delicious Apple Cider Vinaigrette, every bite will burst with a multitude of flavors.
Easy Chicken Ramen with GF Noodles
For those rainy nights, this Ramen is the perfect way to cuddle up and enjoy a warm broth filled with veggies and gluten free fresh pasta noodles. The best part, it takes less than 30 minutes to make!
Tandoori Gobi (Cauliflower) Zucchini Boats
A fun fusion dish that is filled with the traditional Tandoori flavor. Roasted in the oven then broiled, the cauliflower give hints of the charred smoky flavor combined with the Tandoori marinade. Serve it with a side of cooling Mint-y Pomegranate Raita and be prepared to have your taste buds take a trip to India!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this list of healthy recipes to kick start your New Year! I’m going to be adding more to continue our journey of healthy eating. In the meantime, tag me when you make a recipe of mine on Facebook or Instagram or feel free to leave a comment below. Let me know what recipes you would like to see also.
I wish all of you a Happy New Year filled with lots of healthy eating (and a little not so healthy eating).
This fall and winter season I have been obsessed with acorn squash and pomegranates. It only made sense that I find a way to combine the two together. The girls love the rainbow shape this takes on when cut so I wanted to create something fun for them too.
The great thing about acorn squash is that it is a little sweet naturally but it will still take on any flavor you give it. If you haven’t tried them yet, I made some Fire Roasted Poblano Tacos recently with acorn squash part of the filling. It took on the spices really well so I wanted to go on the opposite spectrum this time and season it with something a little more mild.
I chose mostly fresh herbs that would bring out the more earthy flavors. To help give it a little crust, I also added a little Parmesan.
Anyways, here are a few fun nutrition facts about acorn squash:
A nutrient dense food, acorn squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber yet is comparatively low in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Great source of phytonutrients, particularly carotenoids which have antioxidant properties.
Acorn squash is a starchy fruit, however, because it is so nutrient dense, there’s a good balance to eating this squash. The high fiber content slows down digestion which helps you stay full longer and slows down the release of glucose in your blood. This process helps in maintaining weight and stabilizing your blood sugar.
So now that you know about my favorite squash this season, let’s move on to my favorite fruit of the season.
Pomegranates are known as one of the healthiest fruits on Earth!
High in fiber (7gms in 1 cup of arils), they also contain an impressive amount of protein (3gm in 1 cup of arils), and 16% of DRI of Folate (also in 1 cup of arils)
A great source of antioxidants which help with anti-inflammatory properties.
they improve exercise performance by delaying fatigue and increasing blood flow.
Basically, this is one healthy dish that you can have this winter season and enjoy every bite of it! Try it out and tag me on Instagram @bitofspice146.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios.
Herb Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranates and Pistachios
I think hands down, these are one of my favorite holiday foods. I’ve had so many and I don’t think I can tire of them. Snacking is one of my favorite activities. These delicious tostadas make it so much easier as they are low in calorie, healthy, and guilt-free.
High in fiber, antioxidants, a good source of protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals, these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas definitely pack a punch!
Between the Serrano peppers and the watermelon radish, there were some strong flavors. I knew I wanted to use the pomegranate arils to give it a sweet note (and make it look pretty).
But it needed depth so I played around with a few options before settling on the hummus and avocado. And yet the radish was still giving off a bit of a pungent taste and therein comes the smear of pesto.
There are so many random flavors that they work despite wanting to prove the opposite.
Make these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas this holiday season and you won’t be able to stop eating them. From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy them!
I’ve made zucchini boats a few times so far. Each time has been to use up leftovers from our Skinny Skillet Enchilada the previous night. They turn out really good and Sanaya loves them but it’s the same flavor profile so as much as I love it, I still crave something a little different.
I knew I wanted to create a different filling and haven’t done much with Indian food lately so I played around with my options. I kept circling back to this one idea of Tandoori Gobi as the stuffing. I’m not sure where I thought of it but it wouldn’t go away so I decided, ok, let’s give it a try.
I have a great Tandoori marinade recipe that I have been using with chicken so I decided, to use the same for the cauliflower. I treated the cauliflower as the chicken substitute and marinated it overnight also.
The cooking part was a little tricky as I didn’t want a soggy Zucchini Boat and the marinade definitely looked like it would promise a lot of liquid. Simple trick, I baked them separately, then stuffed the zucchini with the cauliflower and broiled it on high for 5 minutes to get a good char. Can I just say, Oh so delicious!
Also, please don’t throw out the flesh of the zucchini when you scoop it out to create the cavity for the cauliflower. Let’s be sustainable here and make some Zucchini Bread out of it!
One more thing I love about this recipe is that it is totally a weeknight meal. So the time on the recipe card may be a little daunting, but it’s the ease of it. And most of the time you spend is waiting for the flavors to marinate. It really takes maybe 15 minutes to put the marinade together, then the next day, 5 minutes to shell out the Zucchini and the rest of the time, you are waiting for it to finish baking. Honestly, it can’t get any easier for a weeknight meal.
Add in the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Mix well to combine all of the spices.
Toss in the cauliflower florets and stir to make sure each floret is coated completely.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and preferably, overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim ends of zucchini and slice in half. Scoop out flesh and save to make Zucchini Bread.
Rub oil over all 4 Zucchini boats, then season with the remaining 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp black pepper.
Bake separately but at the same time, the cauliflower and zucchini boats for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and stuff the Zucchini Boats with the Tandoori Gobi.
Broil on high for 5 minutes or until you get a slight char on the cauliflower.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chaat masala over the the boats.
Serve hot with your favorite raita!
**Bake the cauliflower and zucchini boats in separate baking sheets if possible. When you stuff the boats and return the baking sheet to the oven to broil, the remnants of the tandoori paste will burn on the pan if you are using the same pan.
Warm foods during the cold winter days just makes so much sense. And I don’t just mean temperature but the actual foods and their properties.
When you eat warm foods, they take longer to digest because they are higher in healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates which in turn results in increased body temperature (thermogenesis). Root veggies, fruits such as coconut and apples, and herbs and spices are a few examples of these types of foods.
This Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great combination of many of those warm foods and the fact that it’s filled with flavor, texture, sweet, and spicy makes this that much more of a delicious dish.
This is perfect to make as an entree or a side dish, or serve it up in mini bowls/plates as an appetizer. A small amount will take you a long way as the salad is very filling.
I honestly think this is one of the most nutrient dense recipes I have. Here are a few healthy benefits from this one:
Rich in Fiber and Protein
Packed with antioxidants
Boosts Immune System
Good source of Vit. C, E, and B6
Good source of Calcium, Iron, and Folate
Good source of omega 3 and carotenoids which have anti-inflammatory effects beneficial to all types of arthritis (Butternut Squash)
Boost in energy level (Lentils)
The list can literally go on about how healthy this salad is, which only adds to the deliciousness of it.
From my kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad.
1/4 c salad topping mix or a combination of pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-3 sprigs thyme
5 Tbsp oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 tsp salt, divided
1 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
For the lentils, bring to boil 4 c water. Add in 1 tsp salt, ginger, onion, turmeric, thyme sprigs, ground coriander, and cinnamon. stir well to combine. Add in the lentils and give it a good stir. Cover and reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 40 minutes.
When the lentils are cooked, remove branch of thyme, and drain any remaining water. Set aside.
Line the baking sheet with the squash and brussels sprouts. Drizzle 2 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and paprika. Gently massage through to make sure all the veggies are coated evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallot, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
To assemble, toss the brussels sprouts and butternut squash with the lentils. Add in the dijon dressing and toss gently.
Divide evenly in bowls. Top with apples, avocados, salad topping, feta, and pomegranate arils.
**Salad topping mix is available in most grocery stores. If you are not able to find any, don't stress. Replace it with 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds and 2 Tbsp craisins.
I love potatoes. In any form. I don’t discriminate. They are just so uber delicious. But so unhealthy! Ugh! I wish I could eat them all the time. However…… the few times that I do have them, I make sure they count!
I started making these potato wedges years back (in the oven as I didn’t have an air fryer then) and to this day, they are still a no fail recipe that I can always count on! I do love the fact that they are crispier on the outside while retaining a soft, creamy inside. If you don’t have an air fryer, don’t fret! The oven still does a great job cooking these babies!
It’s an extremely simple recipe that doesn’t require much. This is all you need:
Red Chili Pepper Flakes
These potato wedges are a favorite among everyone in the house from the kiddos to the adults, you just can’t go wrong. Eat them for a snack, a side dish for meats, have part of your next BBQ, an app at a party, pretty much for any occasion, big or small.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these Herbed Potato Wedges!
The year was 2013, I had been married only a couple of months and was hosting this grand Thanksgiving for my in-laws. My mother-in-law is vegetarian as am I and so I wanted something special for a veggie dish at the table instead of roasted veggies.
No offense to roasted veggies, I love them. In fact I eat them all the time and therein lies the problem. I wanted something “fancy”, something different that I don’t have on any given night.
So I scoured the internet and landed upon this gorgeous picture of Ratatouille and thought, I can make this! And I did. It didn’t look so pretty but hey, that’s ok, I hoped it would taste delicious though. It was bland. There literally was no flavor profile to it and safe to say, both my mother-in-law and I were disappointed.
She was nice enough to pretend it was good but I couldn’t even do that!
So ever since, I’ve been on a mission to create a Ratatouille that has layers and dimensions of flavor. Safe to say, I think I found it!
Here’s the secret!
Make a sauce that keeps everyone wanting to lick it off the plate
Season the top of the veggies and not just with salt and pepper! With actual herbs!
Make enough sauce so that veggies are half drenched in it and the rest will cook in the steam of the boiling sauce in the oven.
I have been playing with the recipe for a while now and when I made the final version, I was satisfied aesthetically. The question was, would my girls eat the eggplant in it?
Recently, they’ve become very finicky eaters and it can be a real struggle to feed them even their favorite foods sometimes. But they both ate all the veggies and I couldn’t have been a prouder Mama!
Try this out for your next Holiday dinner, weeknight surprise, or Sunday dinner. It’s easy to make ahead, stores in the fridge and freezer well and is fairly simple to make!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Ratatouille!
Squash season is in full swing and I’m loving experimenting with all the different varieties out there. One of my favorites is butternut squash. It’s vibrant orange color, the sweet taste, and the versatility of the flesh is just great to work with. You can mash it up or cube it and add it into most dishes. For this recipe, I decided to throw a twist and stuff it instead.
This dish is perfect to add for the vegetarians (and non-vegetarians) at the Thanksgiving or Holiday table. It’s rich and bold colors match the flavors that draw together the different fruits and veggies I’ve used.
Aside from being so flavorful, it is also extremely healthy. Here are a few benefits you will get from this dish:
High in protein
Good source of Fiber
Good source of Iron
Low in Fat
Good source of Potassium and Magnesium
Good source of Folate
Good source of Vit. C and Vit. K
High in Antioxidants
I know butternut squash is one of the harder squashes to chop but I have a trick! Heat the squash in the microwave for 3 minutes and it will soften up enough that you can chop the ends easily and scoop out the flesh also. I know putting a whole squash in the microwave might seem daunting, but trust me it works!
When I initially made this recipe, both the hubby and I found it a bit dry and realized right away that it needs a sauce or dressing to help it out. After going through a few options, I settled on a simple Apple Cider Vinaigrette. It has all the elements for the fall, doesn’t overpower the stuffing and gives you just enough of a pop in flavor. Most importantly, the stuffing doesn’t feel dry anymore!
So….. what are you waiting for? Try this out and make it a part of your holiday table or Sunday dinner! From my kitchen to yours, I hope you love this Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash!
Heat the butternut squash in the microwave for 3 minutes to soften it up. Trim the ends and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
Use 1 Tbsp oil to coat both halves of the squash. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Add 4 garlic cloves to each squash and make sure to coat them with the seasoning.
Turn the squash upside down and roast in oven for 40-45 minutes or until fork tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, combine quinoa and veggie broth and bring to a boil on high heat.
Reduce to medium heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated.
Cover and let steam for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Set aside to use later.
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium flame. Add in the onions, celery, and apples and saute until they have softened (5-6 minutes).
Add in the garlic, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and remaining 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Saute for another minute to combine the flavors.
Add in the spinach, walnuts and pomegranates and mix well.
Remove from heat and add in cooked quinoa. Mix well.
For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients into an airtight jar and shake vigorously to emulsify.
When squash is ready, remove from oven and flip over gently. Scoop in the filling evenly into both craters. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp oil over both fillings and bake for an additional 10 minutes to give the stuffing a crispy, golden crust.
Transfer squash to a serving platter, drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with additional pomegranate seeds.
*To prep in advance, you can make the stuffing 1-2 days prior and reheat it once the squash is done cooking.
*Also garnish with feta to give a creamier taste.
A couple of months ago, I won our local Farmer’s Market cooking competition and part of my prize was a big box of fresh goodies from the market. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited to get fresh veggies and fruits! I honestly felt like a contestant on Chopped from The Food Network in that I wanted to use all of my produce and come up with a delicious dish.
Well, considering there were so much produce, I’m not sure I would be able to eat more than 3 bites of any dish made from all of the veggies and fruits! One of my favorites in that box was the beet greens with their beautiful red stems. I’ve had quite a few people ask me what I use them for and what they can cook out of them. A definite go to are to cook them down like collard greens but I wanted to do something more creative and decided to add the beet greens to a hash and topping it with an egg made it the perfect breakfast for a busy day or a big, healthy lunch bowl.
The vibrant orange and red colors of the root veggies as they are being cooked, the bold green of the beets…..eeek! I’m salivating just thinking about this recipe. The best part is all the nutrition you get in this sustainable hash:
high in dietary fiber
high in folate
good source of potassium
good source of non-dairy calcium (the beet greens are)
great source of B-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (these flavonoids have strong anti-cancer and antioxidant properties)
Topping this hash with a fried or hard boiled egg adds a little extra protein though to keep it vegetarian/vegan, you can always replace the egg with a grilled tofu steak.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious and healthy Sweet Potato and Beet Hash!
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet on medium high flame.
Add in the beets, sweet potato, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper and cook about 10-15 minutes until browned and crispy. If it is still mostly raw at the 10 minute mark, cover and let it cook in the steam for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and let it heat up.
Add in the onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the beet greens and stems and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until it is just starting to wilt. Add in the veggies, and mix well.
Let the hash crisp up then remove from pan and divide between 4 plates. Top with your choice of egg and serve hot!
The weather is still pretty warm out but I am mentally ready for fall! Especially with all the delicious veggies at the Farmer’s Market that are coming out for the season. The pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, root vegetables and especially all the squash and pumpkins I’m seeing everywhere! They’re all so beautiful, colorful and oh so yummy!
I was inspired during my last visit to the Farmer’s Market for this recipe. I used acorn squash because it is mild in flavor and one of the easiest squash to peel and cut. The beets added beautiful color and flavor (and lots of nutrition!), and crispy brussels sprouts once roasted are the perfect addition for texture in this bowl.
Here are a few other ingredients I used though, I definitely didn’t roast them:
As for the dressing, I debated whether to add one or not but in the end, I decided a simple squeeze of lime would do justice without taking away from the other flavors.
I was so excited just roasting the veggies because they looked so bright, bold and beautiful! The spice that I added to balance the sweet of the beets and pears out was smoky chipotle pepper to the veggies that I roasted.
This is one dish that I think is going to come up often on our table through this season! Make a big batch for a holiday dinner side, a small batch for a lunch or make it a meal for a weeknight! It’s simple, healthy, delicious, and you get to eat many of your colors!
Here are some of the health benefits from this yummy bowl:
High in Fiber
High in Protein
Vitamins K, C, A, and B-6
Good Source of Iron
Good Source of Folate
Well! What are you waiting for? You have got to try this out!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Sweet and Spicy Harvest Bowl!