Tilapia & Creamy Parmesan Risotto

While visiting Whole Foods today, I decided to check out the fresh seafood counter.  Temptation got the best of me and I decided to splurge on four fresh Tilapia filets for tonights dinner.  I served the Tilapia alongside of sauteed spinach and Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto, also purchased at Whole Foods.  I also paired La Crema Chardonnay with the meal.  It was all delicious.

Ingredients for Tilapia
Fresh Tilapia
Organic Bread Crumbs (Trader Joe’s or Ian’s All Natural Panko Breadcrumbs)
Organic Valley Cultured Lowfat Buttermilk

Directions for Tilapia
Rinse off the fresh Tilapia and pat dry with paper towels (set aside)
Pour buttermilk into a bowl
Pour breadcrumbs onto a plate or into a separate bowl
Take the Tilapia, immerse in the buttermilk, then coat or press against the breadcrumbs
Place Tilapia on a foil covered baking sheet
Bake Tilapia at 375 for 20 minutes or until flaky.  Turn halfway through.

Ingredients for Sauteed Spinach
Fresh Organic Spinach
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
garlic to season

Directions for Sauteed Spinach
Over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic to pan, add spinach and saute for 5-7 minutes.

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Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

One thing I have enjoyed most about this vegetarian cooking journey are the many different ingredients that can be combined and just how flavorful & healthy our foods can be.  In one of my past post, I shared a recipe for Quinoa-Feta Burgers which were delicious.  Today I’d like to share the Quinoa Black Bean Burger, our Sunday night creation.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), it a highly nutritious gluten-free seed (usually considered to be a whole grain) that contains all eight amino acids, a great source of dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron and PROTEIN!  Quinoa is cooked by boiling water and simmering for around 15 minutes.  I usually cook extra Quinoa , keeping some on hand for vegetable stir fry.

The Quinoa Black Bean Burger was my favorite thus far, and somewhat of a hit with the kids.  They would have preferred if I had left out the chopped yellow bell pepper, but otherwise, they enjoyed it!

Ingredients
1 (15 ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cooked organic quinoa (I use Nature’s Earthly Choice from Costco)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use Trader Joe’s organic or Ian’s brand from Earthfare)
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (*optional)
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive

Directions
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole black beans in a paste-like mixture.

Mix the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg into the black bean mixture using your hands.

Form the black bean mixture into 5 patties.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.

Cook the patties in the hot oil until heated through, about 3 minutes on each side.

*I served our burgers on Arnold’s Whole Wheat thins and added Pepper Jack cheese to the adult burgers and Cheddar Cheese to the children’s burgers.
Servings: 5

Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday…have you heard of it? Meatless Monday is a movement that was created to encourage individuals to take a look at their diet and cut out meat, one day a week. According to Meatless Monday going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. If you do eat meat on other days, Meatless Monday strongly recommends grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible.

I would like to express that I have no intention of pushing any of my readers to be completely meat free, as I do have the mindset of “all things in moderation.” If you haven’t heard of this wonderful movement, I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.meatlessmonday.com.

Meatless Monday was a big motivator when I was first venturing into the “meat free” territory of cooking. It’s amazing how starting out one night a week “meat free” led to our whole week of dinners being “meat free” and now it’s just a way of life!

So, what are you having for dinner tonight? I will be cooking up my Extra Easy Spinach Lasagna! (click on the blue to be linked directly to recipe)

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

One of my favorite “go to” lunches is a strawberry spinach salad.  Packed full of vitamins and nutrients this salad is easy to make and quite flavorful.

Ingredients
organic spinach
organic strawberries (cut and rinsed)
organic braeburn apple (peeled, cored, diced)
organic goat cheese (crumbled)
balsamic dressing (I used Tessemae’s All Natural: olive oil,lemons,garlic,mustard,balsamic vinegar,sea salt)

Directions
Mix ingredients together and enjoy

Extra-Easy Spinach Lasagna

I am always in search of ways to include the “SUPERFOOD” Spinach into our meals.  Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6, all offering many health benefits.  This spinach lasagna packed a delicious flavor and best of all, my kids LOVED it.    Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (15 ounce) container fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen organic chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2% organic)
  • 3 cups Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara Sauce (use sauce of your choice)
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup water
Directions
  1. Mix ricotta cheese, spinach and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  2. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles and half the spinach mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining pasta sauce. Slowly pour water around inside edges of baking dish. Cover.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes Uncover. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until hot. Let stand 10 minutes.

Yield: 8

Honey Dijon Chicken

Okay Omnivores, this recipe is just for you.  I decided to cook up one of our old family recipes that frequented the dinner rotation when we consumed meat on a regular basis.  This is KID FRIENDLY, healthy & delicious.  Enjoy.

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 tbsp each Dijon mustard and lemon juice
1 large shallot, minced (or 1 tbsp minced onions)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless organic chicken breast halves
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tsp each honey and cornstarch
*I doubled the above except for the chicken b/c we like things  extra saucy.

Directions
Combine apple juice, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, shallot, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken breast and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.  Add apple juice mixture.  Reduce heat to medium.  simmer, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Gently boil remaining liquid for 3 minutes, until slightly reduced in volume.  Mix sour cream, honey, and cornstarch in a small bowl.  Add to skillet.  Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and has thickened.  Pour sauce over warm chicken and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Avocado Round

Today I decided to mix up a new lunchtime creation, as I am constantly in search of fresh, quick and easy options.  Avocado is one food I want to eat more of b/c it provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.  I also try to have spinach at least once to twice a day.  Spinach is one of the most powerful antioxidants.  I was craving a little bit of spicy flavor, so I chose Pepper Jack cheese & onion for the kick.  Feel free to substitute with another cheese or no cheese at all.  It was delicious. If you would like to make this sandwich Vegan, simply remove the cheese!

Ingredients
Bread of your choice (I use Arnold Flax & Fiber Sandwich Thins-Harris Teeter)
baby spinach
reduced fat pepper jack cheese (1.5 slices)
1 small roma tomato (small slices)
1/2 a fresh avocado
red onion (optional..I used just a few slices)

Directions
I toasted this sandwich to melt the cheese, so preheat your toaster oven
Place spinach leaves on one side of sandwich round/bread
Place pepper jack cheese not top of spinach
Place tomato on top on cheese
Place avocado on top of tomato
Place onion on tomato
Place a couple of small pieces of pepper jack cheese to finish topping sandwich (optional)