Archives for category: lunch

 

 

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More healthy eating!

The weekend was so sunny, warm, and wonderful. I spent a good amount of time outside, hanging in the hammock with Newton. He also (unfortunately for him) got a haircut, nail trimming, and bath, all compliments of yours truly. Needless to say, he wasn’t super into it. Poor guy.

Sundays I’ve been trying to make a big meal that I can eat as leftovers for a few days. Lately, I’ve been seeing tons of recipes for eggplant and/or zucchini “meatballs” on  Pinterest. I read through a bunch of the different recipes, then made up some combination that worked out…

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium to large eggplant
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Olive oil spray (I use PAM or a Misto)
  • Seasonings: Oregano, basil, salt and pepper – all to taste (1/2-1 tsp each)
  • Marinara sauce (I used a jar of pre-made sauce)
  • Fresh basil and/or parsley, chopped, to garnish
  • 1 spaghetti squash

Directions:

Eggplant Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Dice onion and peel then dice the eggplant. Dicing size doesn’t really matter because everything will eventually get mashed up.
  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Once oil is warm, add onion and saute until translucent. (About 5 minutes)
  4. Mince the garlic and add the garlic and spices to the onions.
  5. Once onions and garlic are aromatic, add in the eggplant pieces. Continue to cook over medium heat until eggplant is soft when pierced with a fork, stirring occasionally. (About 10 minutes). If ingredients start to stick to the pan, you can add a few splashes of warm water or veggie broth.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes – or you might have a blending explosion on your hands. *This would be a good time to start on the spaghetti squash.
  7. Mash all ingredients in the pot together, leaving some small chunks. *I use an immersion blender.
  8. Mix in egg and breadcrumbs, stirring until mixture is thick enough to be formed into balls. If it’s too runny, add in more breadcrumbs.
  9. Roll meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter, and arrange them on a greased baking tray. Spray tops with olive oil.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees – 10 minutes on each side. They should get browned and crispy.
  11. Serve over spaghetti squash , top with warm marinara and fresh herbs (optional).

Spaghetti Squash

  1. Microwave whole spaghetti squash for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Remove squash and cut in half, lengthwise, with a large butcher knife.
  3. Use a spoon to remove all the seeds.
  4. Place halves in a glass pan, skin side down and continue to microwave for another 10 minutes.
  5. Once the squash is cooked, use a fork to remove the spaghetti strings.

**Tips:

  • Dicing the eggplant – it doesn’t really matter what size you make them, as long as they are uniform. The smaller they are, the faster they will cook down.
  • Peeling the eggplant is optional. I just don’t really care for the skin, so I always remove it.
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Hopping back on my blog – so I can keep myself excited to be on the healthy wagon!

After a weekend visiting friends up in Michigan and eating some “cheat” food (read: lots of wine and froyo with cookie dough) I’ve gotta get back on my healthier eating track. In short, I’ve been cutting out eating most processed foods, things with added sugar, and most dairy.

These tacos are made of simple ingredients, but they are oh-so-tasty and make for great leftovers. The “directions” are probably unnecessary, but I think the most important part is the tip – letting the veggies cook way longer than you think at a medium high heat. (see the tip).

Veggie Tacos

Ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 8 oz package of mushrooms, sliced and washed
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • Smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and lime juice, to taste
  • Refried beans (homemade)

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil at medium heat.
  2. Add sliced onions and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until onions start to soften.
  3. Stir in diced bell pepper and seasonings, and continue to cook at medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Tip: Let the veggies cook way longer than you think you should and don’t skimp on the heat. It’s good if the veggies stick to the bottom a bit. You want it to have a bit of a “blackened” flavor. Total cook time for the veggies should be about 30 minutes. The veggies will taste best if they are totally softened, slightly blackened, and have absorbed all the seasonings!
  4. In a separate frying pan, warm the corn tortillas for 1 minute on each side over medium heat.
  5. Layer beans, veggies, and avocado on the the tortillas and top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Enjoy!

Refried Beans

I cheated a bit on the refried beans and used cans of pinto and black beans, whereas normally I make them in a crockpot all day from dried beans. But here is today’s faster alternative:

Ingredients:

  • Two 15 oz cans of pinto beans (rinsed)
  • One 15 oz can of black beans (rinsed)
  • Veggie broth (I use Edward & Sons “Not Chick’n bullion cubes plus 2 cups boiling water)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. You want the onion to be completely cooked through.
  3. Drain out most of the liquid (leave about 1 cup of liquid still with the beans).
  4. Blend until smooth.

 

Mandarin Salad

 

Summer is for eating healthy, right? Easier said than done. Between fairs, food trucks and cookouts, I’ve been loading up on all the wrong foods. Wouldn’t it be nice if people brought salads to potlucks that were actually healthy? (read: NOT 60% bacon and/or ranch, likely both).

Here’s a good, simple alternative to try out.  🙂 Enjoy!

Mandarin Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag spring mix greens (or spinach)
  • 1 15 oz can mandarin oranges, rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Red wine vinaigrette

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon dijon mustard or 1 clove minced garlic

Directions:

  1. To toast almonds: heat almonds and sugar over medium high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar is melted.
  2. Lay almonds out to cool on wax paper.
  3. Make salad dressing by whisking red wine vinegar, oil, sugar and mustard together in a bowl.
  4. Toss greens and onions, then add mandarin oranges and almonds. Drizzle lightly with dressing.