5 minute Garbanzo Bean Salad

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I always love a tasty salad for the summer time. I stumbled upon this one last week when I was browsing through the fridge as to what I should make for dinner. It was hot (like 95 degrees hot) which means I didn’t want to even dare turn the oven on. I usually lean towards salads with no lettuce – and yes I am well aware that might sound a little weird. For instance, at Whole Foods when I attack the salad bar I usually just get all the toppings  (veggies) with some dressing and call it a day. Anyway- this one is super easy and can be a great dish you bring to your next summer BBQ!!

What you’ll need:

2 Avocados, pitted, and chopped
1 can Chickpeas
1/3 cup Cilantro
2 tbsp Green onion
1 Lime (juice – if you feel like you need more add a little extra virgin olive oil)

How to make it:

In a mixing bowl combine your avocado, chickpeas (rinsed), cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Mix everything together – season with salt and pepper and top with the feta cheese. (*optional- it tastes just as good without it)

Let me know if you make this and how it turns out!

xo Sarah

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Pickled Onion Meets Avocado Toast.

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{drizzle olive oil, avocado, chili flakes, onion + sprinkle kosher salt}

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{Arugula, avocado, onion, feta + drizzle olive oil}

Hello Friends!! My new obsession is a cross between pickling and loving avocado waaaay to much!! I recently gave a shot at pickling for my first time. After 2 weeks of letting the bad boys sit in the fridge and marinate I pulled them out and gave them a try on some delicious avocado toast! Who doesn’t love bread and more importantly who doesn’t love the green goodness!!! This recipe is super easy and you can put the onions on anything you like- eggs, sandwiches, tacos, rice bowls….you name it!!

Here’s what you’ll need for the pickling portion:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar, Bragg’s)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher slat
  • mason jar
  • red onion (organic)

Directions:

  1. Combine w/ whisk: vinegar + salt/sugar with 2 cups of water until fully dissolved.
  2. Place onion slices in a mason jar or any container and add liquid until covered. Med size mason jar works perfect for this. Some recipes say to store over night but I left mine for 2 weeks and they tasted great!!

GOOD LUCK!

**If you make this tag me @newtritionsavvy!! Can’t wait to see! xo Sarah

Stuffed Zucchini.

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What you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked rice (I like to use spanish rice)
  • 1 cup salsa (optional-I didn’t; use)
  • 1/2 red onion [diced]
  • 1 red bell pepper [diced]
  • mushrooms [diced]
  • 1/2 cup corn1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper), cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • avocado [sliced]
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese
  • queso fresco [crumbled]

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by greasing a cookie sheet with olive oil and place to the side. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise[DON’T cut off the ends (I made the mistake of doing that!). Using a melon baller or metal teaspoon, hallow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish. I reccomend dressing the zucchini with a little salt and pepper before filling with everything.
  2. Next warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the peppers until coooked through. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder and cumin. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and then stir in 1/4 cup of the cilantro and salt to taste to the filling. Spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each half with cheese then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  4. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes then top with fresh cilantro, avocado and queso fresco and serve.

Thank you Making Thyme For Health for this recipe! There were a few modifications but it was delicious!!

*This recipe can also be made without cheese and would be just as good. Anything with avocado and salsa you can’t go wrong! Enjoy!

Smoothie Prep.

smoothie prep

Meal Prep.

Let’s be honest, who has time for meal prep? From someone who loves to cook and eat healthy I have never really been a fan of meal prepping. This isn’t because I am lazy  but more so because I actually enjoy the act of going to the grocery store, and cooking everyday. Annnnd well, I am not really a fan of cooked food sitting in the refrigerator more than a day. I know, maybe it’s weird but it’s just how I am. I came across this idea over the weekend as far as a meal prep that I could relate to and I couldn’t wait to share. In my last post I mentioned I bought a Vitamix which can be used for all sorts of things, but in this case I am focusing on smoothies. Actually now that I think about it, soups and juices can be prepped ahead as well. I do know from experience that prepping fruit can be a 10 minute longer excursion that you don’t have time for in the morning so with a little time on Sunday (or whatever day) you can throw some fruits and veggies in a mason jar, label, and WaLa! you have your smoothie just about ready. I always love new ideas of getting healthy and making things just a little bit easier. What are some of your favorite meal prep ideas?

 

Photo Courtesy: Vega_Team.

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.

Grapefruit + Jicama Salad.

{Peel and Chop Jicama}

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{Add all ingredients + Spices}

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If you are looking for a light salad, this is perfect. I find more often than not that when I make something I usually have leftovers of the items that I didn’t use. The problem is I love to cook but sometime can’t eat the food fast enough so I have to be creative with the items I buy so they can be used in different meals. With the new year upon us and everyone on their “detox/resolution” craze- you can add this one to the list of must makes! This is flavorful, and a perfect starter salad or side dish.

{Ingredients}

  • 1 large jicama (I used half)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 large cucumber, chopped
  • 1 orange, peel and slice crosswise ( I used grapefruit because I thought it was an orange, oops!)
  • 1/2 chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (Fresh/ I also used 1/2 Lemon)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • pinch of paprika
  • sea salt (to taste)

Directions:

Toss together the jicama, bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, orange, and cilantro in a large serving bowl.  Pour juice over all. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne and paprika. Season with salt.

Let it sit a half hour before serving so the veggies can absorb the flavor!

ENJOY!

This recipe can be found here.

Crazy For Oats.

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TGIF! As the week is winding down I finally have a chance to sit at the computer and devote some effort to my blog. Between classes, working out and work it seems there is just not enough time in the day. Does anyone else feel this way? Thought so. I have been asked a lot in the last couple of weeks about my diet routine and what exactly it is that I eat. I answer, “food?” haha. In all seriousness, I think when people think of healthy they think of getting rid of everything in their diet that they love that is not exactly good for you. Ideally, yes. Reality? No. This isn’t possible, at least the way I see it. I most definitely believe that your body knows when it’s feeling really good and not so great. If you work out, eat real food (non processed/short shelf life) and keep your mind right- chances are you are feeling pretty awesome. If you have the occasional night out, few drinks here and a few drinks there, and resort to unhealthy food as a result of drinking (we have all done this), chances are you are feeling not so awesome. I want you all to know that I eat REAL, unprocessed, organic (when possible) food. This is by choice, not chance. I enjoy it, I feel better because of it, and I have even lost weight in the last year from being healthier than the “healthy” I was before. Eating better doesn’t have to be a dreadful process. For me, it’s a constantly changing. Often, I get stuck on my favorite foods and then have to remember to incorporate the other foods in the pantry/fridge. Find the foods that you love and switch things around so that you enjoy it.

Right now I am hooked on Steel Cut Oats. I used to be a victim of the Quaker Oats oatmeal loaded with sugar and who knows what else, but after discovering these plain oats there is no turning back. They take about 15 minutes to make. You boil a pot of water, throw in the oats, add some cinnamon and stir consitently until the oats become thick. You can add a little fruit, agave, ground flax, chia seeds, and anything else that you love. They are SO good. If you aren’t convinced come to my house and I will make for you. 🙂

Benefits:

Cinnamon: Sedative for smooth muscle, circulatory stimulant, digestant, diuretic, antibiotic and reduces type 2 diabetes.

Steel Cut Oats: A diet that includes oats may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. This is also a great source for fiber.

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

2 Bean Vegan Chili

{2 Bean Vegan Chili}

What You’ll Need:

  • Carrots/White Onions/ Celery
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Can Diced Tomato (No salt added)
  • Zucchini
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin/Coriander/Salt/Pepper/Cayenne Pepper/Dried Oregano
  • Lime
  • Jalapeno/ Sliced and Diced
  • Black + Kidney Beans

Saute carrots, celery, onion w/ extra virgin olive oil (can use coconut oil as substitute.) Add water, zucchini, diced tomato, jalapeno, beans into pot.  Add salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and dried oregano (to taste). I added fresh cilantro into the pot as well. I am not big on measurments, but don’t go too crazy before the chili has had a chance to simmer-  the flavors will taste better after it is done cooking- and remember you can always add. After you add everything into a large pot let the chili simmer for about 15-20 min. Add fresh cilantro and lime for garnish. If desired you can always add cheese/meat. Let me tell you, it was delish w/o any dairy or meat product!

Enjoy!

Health Benefits

*CUMIN:  Cumin is extremely good for digestion and related problems. The very smell (aroma) of it, which comes from an aromatic organic compound called Cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates our salivary glands in our mouth (the mouth watering flavor), facilitating the primary digestion of the food.

*CORIANDER: The health benefits of coriander include treatment of swellings, high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, Mouth ulcers, anemia, digestion, menstrual disorders, small pox, eye care, conjunctivitis, skin disorders, blood sugar disorders, etc.

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!