I’m excited to share a new lunchtime creation: Avocado, Tomato & Cucumber Round. This was my first year growing an organic garden and I can not believe how many vegetables we are harvesting. So fresh from the garden today I decided to use some of our tomato and cucumber! This sandwich is healthy, delicious and light!
INGREDIENTS CHIVE SPREAD:
1/4 CUP VEGENAISE OR GREEK YOGURT OR MAYONNAISE (OR 2 TBS OF EACH)
1 TABLESPOON FINELY CHOPPED FRESH CHIVES
SALT AND PEPPER, TO TASTE
1 AVOCADO, PEELED, PITTED AND DICED
1 TOMATO, CORED AND CHOPPED
1 CUCUMBER, PEELED, SEEDED AND DICED
SQUEEZE OF LIME JUICE
2 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED FRESH CILANTRO
4 SLICES OF ARNOLDS WHOLE WHEAT SANDWICH THINS
1/4 CUP ALFALFA SPROUTS
To Make the Chive Spread: In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To Make the Avocado Salad: In a medium bowl, gently toss together the avocado, tomato, cucumber, lime juice and basil or cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
To Assemble: Spread the chive-yogurt mixture on all four round slices. Divide the sprouts between two slices of bread, and top with avocado salad. Cover with the remaining slices of bread.
I am excited to share one of my new “favorites” in Vegetarian dishes. This recipe was found in one of my favorite magazines, Whole Living. The June edition has a great spread called “Grill Talk” with delicious and healthy alternatives to beef. This truly is a fantastic tasting burger and is packed with nutrients, protein and fiber. I do hope you will give it a try!
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
In a bowl, mash beans into a thick paste and mix in shallot, carrot, quinoa, parsley, feta, salt, and egg whites.
Form mixture into six patties and chill 30 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, directly on grill grates or on stove top, and cook patties until golden (add remaining tablespoon oil if cooking in batches), 4 to 5 minutes per side.
The vine ripe organic tomatoes were calling my name today while shopping for new lunch and dinner ideas. Today’s creation is healthy, light and delicious. Enjoy!
1 vine ripe organic tomato
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Flax & Fiber Sandwich Thin
1 slice of Natural Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 handful of baby spinach
*balsamic glace optional (I use La Prima Glassa Balsamica from Harris Teeter)
Drizzle tomato slices with oil and season with salt and pepper
Place spinach on both sides of sandwich thin
Place sharp cheddar cheese on top of spinach
Place tomato on top of sharp cheddar cheese and spinach
Toast sandwich to desired heat. I toast mine for around 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
*Drizzle with balsamic glaze
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!
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
Mix ricotta cheese, spinach and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
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.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes Uncover. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until hot. Let stand 10 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
Yum! Today I decided to try this protein packed Pear Oat smoothie. I received this recipe from a close friend and can now second that this is a great combination and nice change from a complete vegetable or fruit smoothie. Enjoy.
1 pear sliced
1/3 cup rolled oats or steel cut oats (I used steel cut oats)
1 tsp raw maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp almond or Peanut Butter (I used all natural Peanut Butter)
A sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
Cover with unsweet vanilla almond milk, hemp milk, or rice milk
Handful of Ice
Last night I decided to take on yet another new recipe and it was DELICIOUS! This Penne dish is a quick fix and requires little time for preparation. This recipe was actually inspired from a recent “pin” I discovered on Pinterest. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did!
1 lb. whole wheat penne
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 artichoke hearts, quartered
2 cans organic diced tomatoes (you can use fresh if you prefer)
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
*1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and the garlic in the olive oil. Add the artichoke hearts. Cook to a pale gold color over high heat, then add the spinach, and tomatoes. Simmer 15-20 minutes over medium heat.
Cook the whole wheat penne according to package directions in boiling water. Drain and add to the artichoke sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Enjoy!
Oh go ahead, it’s good for you. Did you know that Dark Chocolate is packed with antioxidants and has been known to lower blood pressure? Dark Chocolate surprisingly has many health benefits! Of course, with everything, moderation is key. To control my sweet cravings, one thing I do daily is have a square of 86% Ghirardelli bar or 90% Lindt bar. Note: The darker the chocolate %, the less sugar.
This recipe I am sharing today isn’t quite as healthy as indulging in straight dark chocolate, but is too DELICIOUS not to share. My mother-in-law introduced this fine fudge to me on New Years Eve, just in time to kick off a healthy year. Ha.
2 cups (1 package) 60% Cacao Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 bar (2oz) Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar, chopped
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (our not so healthy ingredient)
2.5 tsp. vanilla extract
*optional (1 cup walnuts chopped)
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with waxed paper. Place chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate, and sweetened condensed milk in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir the mixture occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the vanilla extract and nuts*. Next step: Spread fudge evenly in prepared baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm. Cut when cool and firm. Store uncovered in the refrigerator.
Back in the days of eating meat, meatloaf was a staple in our household. In an effort to try and stick with familiar dishes, I decided to give this veggie meat-free loaf a try. It is surprising just how familiar the texture & taste is to a real meatloaf, tastier and healthier! This does take some prep time in the kitchen, so plan accordingly. It’s well worth the time invested. Quinoa is main ingredient in this dish. Quinoa is rich in protein & antioxidants. This is also a gluten-free dish. KID FRIENDLY! I served the meatloaf w/ mashed potatoes and broccoli.
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (I chopped mine in the Vitamix)
2 celery stalks, washed and shredded (I chopped mine in Vitamix)
1 c coarsely chopped brown mushrooms (I chopped mine in Vitamix)
1 c cooked quinoa
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup (I use Heinz Organic)
*I also used additional ketchup on the outside of the loaf..just a family tradition of ours.
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease a standard 8-inch loaf pan and set aside
Mash black beans in a large bowl and combine all ingredients until even
Transfer to a prepared pan and pat down firmly (shaped mine into a loaf)
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hours, until firm and brown on the outside.
Allow the loaf to cool and firm up before serving, about 15-20 minutes