Veggies w/ Spicy Marinara

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Last night I ended up getting home pretty late (9-ish) after a long day of work, working out and then hitting Whole Foods for the week. The problem with me is that on my nights that I have off I LOVE to cook! Sometimes I intend on making something quick- and then and hour and a half later I have my meal. It probably doesn’t help that I am snapping 99 pictures along the way, but needless to say I enjoy the time it takes to prepare my food. I consider it relaxation time.

I whipped together this veggie medley and it was nothing short of just what I wanted. Not to heavy, but still filling enough after a hearty workout.

{Ingredients}

  • broccoli
  • cherry tomato (cut in half)
  • fresh minced garlic
  • mushroom
  • crushed tomato (canned- I use DiNapoli brand)
  • fresh parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili flakes

For the veggies it was easy, I browned the garlic (don’t burn) with olive oil. Shortly after added the broccoli and let cook. Add salt, pepper to taste. When the broccoli seems to be halfway done add the cherry tomatoes. After the tomatoes start to get soft then add the mushroom.  Mushrooms are always last because they cook fast and I personally don’t like overcooked veggies.

For the marinara. I also used a little olive oil with fresh minced garlic on med heat. After the garlic is brown I added a can of crushed tomatoes, fresh parsley along with salt, pepper and chili flakes. As soon as the sauce reaches a slight boil turn temperature down and simmer.  Instead of pasta with marinara – veggies with red sauce is always a great substitute to leave you feeling less bloated. Think of simple as being better. If healthy is the theme of your January then add this one to your list. You won’t be disappointed.

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Cilantro Chili-Lime Prawns

cilantro set up

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I made cilantro chili – lime prawns yesterday for a friends BBQ. I feel like I always try to think outside of the box when bringing things to parties mostly so people can try new things, but also because the regular stuff like potato salad, fruit salad and whatever else can often be boring. This recipe was really easy and fast. I am always browsing the internet for new recipes and am very glad I stumbled upon this one. One thing I want to say- is that just because there is a recipe doesn’t mean you can’t change a few things here and there.

What you’ll need for this:

  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest ( I didn’t have a zester so I excluded)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice (make sure the limes you choose are squishy)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 jalapeno chili (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp in shell ( I picked up already shelled but raw shrimp from Whole Foods)

Directions:

Marinate the shrimp. In a medium bowl, stir together lime zest, olive oil, soy, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, sugar, chili powder, and cayenne. Peel the shrimp, leaving on tails.

Rinse, and then pat dry with paper towels. Put the shrimp in a large zipper bag, pour the marinade over, close the bag, pushing out any air and rub the marinade into the shrimp. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. ( I refrigerated for about 2 hours until we were ready to BBQ).

Preheat grill to medium-high. You can skewer the kabob, or if you don’t have kabob sticks, simply stick the shrimp w/ marinade in foil and close tight. Place on grill and wait about 6 -7 minutes or until finished cooking. Prawns cook pretty fast, so keep an eye on these bad boys.

For the Quinoa- Mango Salad:

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  • 1 cup quinoa or couscous
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1 mango
  • 1 tablespoons chopped (italian) parsley leaves
  • chicken stock (optional) you can cook the quinoa in this for more flavor- I did not.
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1 lime

Directions:

Cook the quinoa as you would rice. for 1 cup quinoa use 2 cups water or stock. Set aside when done.

In a separate pan, saute parsley, jalapeno, bell pepper and zucchini with olive oil. I don’t like to cook my veggies all the way through for quinoa salad because I like the extra crunch. When veggies are near done, add red onion and mango in with veggies just to give a little warm up ( 2 minutes max). Add all ingredients together with quinoa. I like to add a little more olive oil, salt, pepper and and juice from lime to add flavor to salad. Top with prawns and you are done!

Add some corn tortillas and this is great for tacos! Enjoy!

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner Quiche.

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As mentioned earlier this week I hosted a brunch over the weekend. I was trying to stray away from the traditional brunch items like eggs or waffles and decided to go with this amazing quiche recipe. Not all of my friends are vegetarians and even though they insisted veggie items were fine, I requested someone pick up some ham so I could add it to the goodness! I am sort of over the top when it comes to these things like hosting. It just so happens that I am a bit of a perfectionist and want my friends to have the best of the best so if this means me waking up at 6 am for an 11am brunch, well then, so be it! This was my first try at making quiche and I didn’t realize this was going to be so easy. I made one veggie quiche (for me..nice try thinking I would eat meat), and one with ham! Let’s just say they were so easy and gone within minutes! If you are having company or hosting a party soon – I recommend this recipe with both thumbs up!

{What you’ll need}

3 cups shredded hash browns (can buy or make yourself)
4 tablespoons organic butter (1/2 stick)
3 large eggs
1 cup half & half beaten (can use less if you add more filling less egg)
1/2 of a zucchini (diced)
1/2 bell pepper (diced)
White onion- use as much as you want (diced)
Sliced mushroom (about a handful)
Mild cheddar cheese (optional)
Salt/pepper to taste

{Directions}

Gently press drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best possible. In a 9 inch pie plate toss hash browns with melted butter into plate and press them into the bottom and up sides to form a crust. Bake for 25-30 min on 450 degrees F until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan add a little olive oil and sauté onion, zucchini, mushroom and bell pepper until slightly cooked. Add salt/ pepper to taste and garlic powder if you like. (Note: you are just cooking veggies to take the crisp off- they will finish cooking in the quiche.) Remove hash brown crust when golden brown, add veggies, meat (optional) and pour egg mixture over. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 more minutes or until quiche is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Found this recipe here.

Weekend Glimpse.

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What a great weekend. I hit up the farmers market yesterday with my niece per usual and to my luck scored with prices. I went a little later (12:30 ish) and got everything for $1 a pound! That is a deal if I ever heard of one. Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, plums and beets for under $10! I made an amazing Sunday dinner for some friends including halibut with fresh herbs, baked Brussels sprouts, and a fig recipe that I will share tomorrow. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and a great week ahead!

Portobello Tacos

Mushroom

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These were so good and fast (not just saying that because I made them).

What you’ll need:

  • Fresh Portobello Mushroom (Whole- You clean/slice or Pre Sliced- I bought sliced)
  • Zucchini
  • Fresh jalapeno
  • Lettuce (Romaine preffered)
  • Tomato (Dice)
  • Lime (Flavor)
  • Parsley (Fresh), Garlic (minced), Sea Salt, Pepper, Fajita Seasoning (Purchased @ WF in spice section)
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Black Beans (Can buy refried or whole and refry yourself)
  • Corn Tortilla

Combine Mushroom, Chopped (fresh) parsley, salt, pepper, diced jalapeno, olive oil and fajita seasoning with mushroom on med heat. When mushroom looks near done (soft) you can add zucchini(or any vegetable you like) in with mushrooms. I cooked the tortillas in vegetable oil for 30 seconds while folding in half to get a crunchy taste (optional- you can heat up and eat soft as well). While these are cooking you can thrown beans in a pot and cook. WALA! Put your taco together however you like and enjoy!

*If using a whole mushroom you can also bake until soft- just make sure you clean it properly.

Fajita seasoning

{The Fajita Seasoning I used}

(Found at Whole Foods or here.

Just A Little Glimpse

Wowee! Is it me or did this 4 day weekend fly by? Between volunteering, Turkey Trot, and eating too much I am ready to get back into the grind. Don’t get me wrong, I love holidays but by the end of the weekend it seems like I overdid myself and need some reality in my life. This including a good workout. I woke up today feeling a little under the weather, but am determined to pump myself with some wheatgrass shots, vitamins, and lots of hot tea. I will NOT get sick! Here are some pictures from my Thanksgiving. As always, it was a great time cooking, chatting and enjoying time with family. There was an excess of veggies (obviously)- my cousin made the coconut shrimp, and a delicious butternut squash/quinoa dish (recipe to come). I made a beet salad, veggie saute, mushroom gravy, brussel sprouts annnnd pumpkin cheesecake. It was amazing. Believe it or not, there was even a Turkey! I hope you all had a great holiday, ate too much and are ready to get back into Monday! Another opportunity for a great week.

It’s All About The Sides

{Beet + Fennel + Fig Salad}

{Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Cranberry Pistachio Pesto}

{Cider Roasted Vegetables- Pair w/ Polenta, Rice or Quinoa}

{Heavenly Mashed Potatoes}

{Leek Bread Pudding}

{Cranberry Orange Relish- So easy to make from scratch}

With 8 days left until Thanksgiving (Where has the time gone) I can’t help but search the internet high and low for some new veggie sides. I know, I know, some people thing it’s the turkey that MAKES Thanksgiving- but for me it’s all the sides that fill my belly. This is by far my favorite holiday. I absolutely LOVE to cook, spend time with family and most of all eat! Who doesn’t??? I am running the Turkey Trot the morning of Thanksgiving so I won’t feel as guilty about stuffing my face. All that aside, it’s a chance to step back and give thanks as well as appreciate everything we have in our lives. We should do this more than once a year don’t you think?? If you aren’t into cooking- leave it to your family members, kick back and relax! Just remember- dish duty is on you!!!

*I attached all recipes to the pictures- and do not claim the rights to any of these photos!

What are some of your favorite sides that I should know about?? Help a sista out!

 

Easy Lentil Soup!

What you’ll need:

  • Carrots/Celery/White Onion
  • Lentil Beans (Can buy in bulk section @) Whole Foods {Cheaper this way}
  • Fennel
  • Zucchini
  • Tomato Sauce or Paste (either works)
  • Garlic cloves {2 or 3}
  • Bay Leaves {2 or 3}
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice {Fresh preferred}

How to Prepare:

  1. Chop veggies {carrots, celery, fennel and onion) to desired size {I prefer smaller}
  2. Boil Lentils in separate pot for about 20 min
  3. Saute veggies & garlic with olive oil until tender
  4. When lentils are done cooking, put the saute veggies in Pot {Same water is fine}
  5. Tomato sauce, lemon juice  & zucchini can go into pot with veggies/lentils
  6. You can also saute zucchini for a few minutes before putting in pot- they don’t take long too cook and you don’t want mushy so keep an eye out!
  7. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder {Chili flakes if you want spice}
  8. Let simmer for about 15 minutes until finished.
  9. You can add feta as I did, or even chicken if you desire.
  10. Enjoy!