Veggie Enchiladas

Veggies

Mix in Bowl

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I made these vegetarian enchiladas the other night and they were AMAZING! Often times when you try and recreate something vegetarian it turns out to be a bigger hit than the original.  Dinner time for me is full of excitement. I LOVE going to the grocery store and figuring out what it is that I am going to make. I know this can be dreadful for many, and usually I would recommend planning ahead, but when your schedule is busy it can be hard, I get it.  I decided on these after scouting recipes on the internet. Sometimes you might catch a recipe but it is full of too many things (I see this all the time).  If this is ever the case- you can tweak it a little bit and use what works for you.  I used a couple different vegetables and the were still amaze.  If you have a chance- make these! 

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 med red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 med sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 container button mushrooms, halved or quartered (don’t cut too small they will shrivel)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 8 tortillas (flour or corn- your choice)
  • 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce  (I prefer green sauce)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Mexican shredded cheese (I used cojita as well for a sprinkle)
  • optional garnishes: fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream

Directions

Prehead the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, toss together the yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, sweet potato, red pepper, mushroom and olive oil until evenly mixed. Season generously with salt and black pepper. I also added organic taco seasoning to the mix.  Spread the mixture out evenly onto the covered baking sheet. (Vegetables should be mostly in a single layer. If you’re baking sheet is small you may need to spread these out over two baking sheets.)

Bake for 30 min, or until the edges of the vegetables begin to crisp and they are tender.  Remove and set aside to cool. After the veggies were cool, I added tofu and black beans to the mix. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare your enchilada assembly line. Lay a tortilla on a flat work surface, then spread the top of it with a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce.  Sprinkle down the center with veggies and cheese (optional). Roll the tortilla up to close, then place it seam-side-down in a greased baking dish.  Repeat with remaining ingredients. Then spread any remaining enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas in the dish.

Bake at 325 for 20 min. Then remove the dish and sprinkle extra cheese on top (optional/I used cojita). Bake for 5-10 more inures until cheese has melted and the tortillas begin to brown slightly around the edges. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, garnish if desired.

This recipe based off of this one.

Sweet Brussels Sprouts

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What you’ll need:

Brussels sprouts (cut ends off and slice)
Dried Parsley
Salt/Pepper
Olive oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
Brown sugar (about half a tablespoon)
White onion (diced)

Caramelize onion in a sauté pan with olive oil. Add sliced brussels sprouts with a little salt, pepper and a pinch of brown sugar. Serve when sprouts are soft. A little brown sugar goes a long way so add accordingly. This is a perfect side to add to chicken, steak or in my case more veggies! Enjoy!

Fig + Goat Cheese Crostini.

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This recipe was divine. I am frequently browsing instagram and other blogs for inspiration and tasty vegetarian recipes. I came across this one on Glitter Guide. Since figs are in season I thought, why not? It’s possible that some of you have a dreaded memory of figs from fig newtons and have been scarred as to what figs really taste like! If prepared right, or even eaten plain you might fall in love. I have become obsessed with all things cooking as of late (this is not new but more frequent as I love sharing recipes on my blog). If you aren’t sure if you are a fan of figs…try this! I think it might change your mind. You can always substitute the cheese for your choice such as gorgonzola or blue cheese.

{what you’ll need}

Baguette (slice and bake)
Goat cheese (organic preferred)
Honey (for drizzle)
Figs (fresh + sliced in half)

Cut the bread into slices. Set oven to 350 degrees and bake. Add goat cheese. Top with fig slices and drizzle with honey. (Note: I put the Crostini back in the oven to warm the goat cheese before topping with fig and honey.)

Orzo Salad.

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{What you’ll need}

Orzo (I used 1/2 a cup and only used half)
Fresh basil
Fresh dill
Cherry tomato
Red onion (chopped)
Sliced black olives (canned is fine)
Olive oil
Salt/Pepper

Boil orzo for about 7-9 minutes. The first time I cooked orzo I overcooked so beware, it cooks fast and will become mushy if overdone. When you rinse run under cold water and let sit until cool.

In a separate bowl add chopped basil, chopped dill, onion, sliced cherry tomatoes, black olives, olive oil and salt and pepper. A teaspoon of olive oil should do- you can always start with a little and add more if you need. Combine orzo and you have a delicious, light salad. If you are not a fan of pasta you can switch out for barley. Can serve both cold or while orzo is warm. Enjoy!

Organic Dog Biscuits: Yes Please!

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I recently came across this amazing bakery that sells organic dog biscuits. We constantly hear all the fuss about eating healthy for ourselves, but what about those furry friends of ours? They should be fed the best food as well that will help them live long, healthy lives. If I had the time, I would make these myself but I will leave it to Chloe’s Bakery. Such a great concept and the prices are definitely reasonable. Thank you so much for sending me a free sample- my Khloe LOVED them! =)

This is their story:

chloe

“Chloe is a 1 year old Yorkshire Terrier. I started making her all-natural, organic biscuits because I want her to live a long and healthy life,I believe dogs deserve REAL wholesome healthy food just like us. I see so many dog treats out on store shelf’s that contain chemicals,preservatives, or water-y broths,that is just not healthy period.I wanted to make a change.

So that’s when I decided I’d take my love for baking & cooking with fresh seasonal,organic ingredients, and Chloe’s love for treats and start an all-Natural,organic dog biscuit bakery. Right in the heart of Westchester County in New York. We bake the biscuits by hand in small batches,with the finest ingredients we can find. All Natural with no chemicals,no preservatives,or water y-broths as flavoring. Just REAL simple wholesome human grade ingredients for your four legged furry friend.”

You can purchase the biscuits here. You can also find Chloes Bakery on instagram @ChessDevino. Enjoy!

White Bean + Kale Soup.

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What you’ll need:

-white beans (I prefer fresh beans but can use canned as well)
-carrot, white onion, celery
-zucchini
-olive oil
-kale
-2 garlic cloves
-fresh thyme
-fresh parsley
-2 bay leaves
-ground turmeric
-diced tomato (canned or tomato paste works also)
-salt/pepper
-lemon

Start by boiling the beans on medium heat. They take about an hour or so, but when they are finished I saved the water and used the bean broth as my base broth for the soup (instead of veggie or chicken broth). In a separate pan – sauté the diced onions, carrots and celery with olive oil on low heat. When the veggies look cooked, you can add minced garlic and diced kale to to the mix. Sauté the kale until it is soft. You can add this mixture of veggies to the bean water or chicken stalk- whichever you decide to use. Add zucchini, diced tomato or tomato paste, a couple sprigs of fresh thyme, bay leaves, turmeric (optional) fresh chopped parsley, salt/pepper (go easy because you can always add later to taste when all the flavors blend). Let the soup simmer- my beans weren’t finished cooking all the way through so I let them finish with all the added ingredients mixed in. Another option is to boil the kale separately and then adding to the bean water. Either way, it gets soft and doesn’t really taste like kale (brilliant for those that don’t prefer it)!

Season to taste, add a little lemon and enjoy!

Side note: .
I like to add crushed red pepper for a little spice. The best part about soup is that you can add anything… Dried oregano and dried parsley are also great alternatives in case don’t have fresh on hand! If you have time to boil your own beans make sure you soak the beans before use. If using canned there is no need to soak. If you have any questions shoot me an email.

Hope You Enjoy!

Back To The Grind

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Back to the grind! I started 3 science classes last week, two of which involve labs. What does that mean? Time is of the essence. I know what it’s like to be busy, but I still will not compromise my healthy habits simply because I am busy. The grocery store is my “BFF” and they pretty much see me everyday! When I don’t have time to prepare, I drop by Whole Foods and pick up a lunch snack of some sort. This is much better than starving or choosing a less healthier option provided at school/ work or not being provided at all. I cant tell you How many times I forget what I do or don’t eat when my days are filled. This is important, you NEED to eat. Your body needs energy. What’s the key to success? Plan ahead! Remember, if you don’t buy it, you are less likely to eat it!

You Want Me To Juice Whaaaaaat??

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Do you think green juice is the only juice that is healthy? Well, it’s false. Although it is true that green veggies provide many nutrients we can also benefit from other fruits and veggies as well. If you are just getting started with juicing, or have picky eaters in your family- or children that won’t drink their vegetables, this may be a great place to start.

{Keep In Mind}

You can always add a green or two such as kale, chard, collards, or dark green lettuce and no one will even know it’s there. OR you can even add some spinach and parsley and people won’t taste a thing. Have fun with this….these are yummy!

Moraccan Beet

  • 1 small bunch of mint
  • 1 dark lettuce leaf
  • 1 beet (boiled), with leaves
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1 lemon, peeled if not organic

(serves 1)

Hawaiian Breeze

  • 1 orange
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled if not organic
  • 1/2 cup coconut water

(pour into glass and serve with ice, serves 1)

Lemon-Lime-Blueberry Refresher

  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh preferred, if frozen-thaw)
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled if not organic
  • 1/2 lime, peeled if not organic

(served chilled, serves 1)

Pink Lemonade Sparkler

  • 2 apples (green preferred)
  • 1 lemon, peeled if not organic
  • 1/4 beet with leaves
  • 1 cup chilled sparkling water

(juice all ingredients and stir in sparkling water- pour into glass, served chilled. serves 1-2)

Razz and Spazz

  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup rasberries, fresh or thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

(start with raspberries then apple, cucumber & mint, served chilled, serves 1)

{Benefits of Fruit}

  1. Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health.
  2. Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.
  3. Fruits contain many anti-oxidants like poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, and anthocyanins.These compounds, firstly, help human body protected from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, andsecondly; help the body develop capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits, when compared to vegetables and cereals, have very high anti-oxidant value, which is something measured by their “Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity” or (ORAC).
  4. Anthocyanins are flavonoid category of poly-phenolic compounds found in some “blue-fruits” like blue-black grapes, mulberries, acai berry, chokeberry, blueberries, blackberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. Eating fruits rich in blue pigments offers many health benefits. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties, remove free radicals from the body, and thus offer protection against cancers, aging, infections, etc. These pigments tend to concentrate just underneath the skin.
  5. Fruit’s health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants, which helps the body prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues and organs. Their overall benefits are manifold! Fruit nutrition benefits are infinite! You are protecting yourself from minor ailments like wrinkling of skin, hair-fall, and memory loss to major ailments like age-related macular degeneration (AMRD) of the retina in the eyes, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancers, weak bones (osteoporosis)…etc., and the list of fruit nutrition benefits never ends!

Important Note: You can add superfoods to ANY smoothie such as chia seeds, flax seeds, and spirulina.

While these juice blends might be tasty- remember fruits contain too much sugar. Try and add greens to every drink to get the most benefit!  80/20 Rule.  A juicing diet should consist of the 80/20 rule. This rule means 80% Alkalizing food and 20% Acidifying food. A normal pH should be between 7.35-7.45. A pH level below 7.0 indicates an acidic forming diet and above 7.0 is Alkaline. You can find a list of Acid/Alkalizing foods here

Who’s Ready To Juice?

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New Year….”new diet” seems to be all the rage these last 4 days. How about we make it all the rage 365 days a year? How does this happen? We start now! I just ordered this book, “Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen” and can’t wait to start sharing with you these amazing recipes that will transform our health together. Next week I will be doing a juicing series. This is something that is new to me as well. I am familar with smoothies (no not the chocolate milkshake from In & Out kind of smoothie), but fruits and superfood kind of smoothies (chia seeds, flax seeds, kale etc). I can’t wait to change  up my routine and start experimenting with the benefits of juicing! If you don’t like to cook leafy greens and vegetables- then this is might be an easier route for you to follow. Who’s ready to spike their drinks with loads of vitamins??

Lets Do This!

Book Can be found here.

New Book: Chloe’s Kitchen.

Can we say excited!? As of late, I have been buying on Amazon left and right. I see books in Whole Foods and go home only to find it for half the price. My most recent purchase is Chloe’s Kitchen. This is a vegan (no animal product) cookbook that adds a fun twist to cooking. Chloe first capured her audience because she won the show Cupcake Wars with her award winning VEGAN (no animal product- egg/milk) cupcake recipe. “Chef Chloe is luring foodies of all stripes to try her igenious, accessible, recipes for delicious, vibrant, beautiful food.” She has a range between small bites, soups and salads, vegetables, noodles, main courses as well as desserts. Can’t wait to give these a try. I will say, whenever I bring a dish to an event….it’s always the ones that talk smack about the vegetarian food that end up eating the most. Give it a try….you never know what might capture your palet.

{For the record, I am not vegan- but do enjoy cooking with minimal dairy products when I can.}

Have any good cookbooks I should know about?

Happy Friday!