Brunch with Friends and an Egg White, Veggie and Herb Frittata

This weekend I had two my of best gal pals over for some catching up . The three of us hadn’t had the chance to actually talk in weeks, which was unusual for us considering that we usually talk almost every day. I sent out a cute little Evite about two weeks ago and we all committed to a homemade brunch at my place.

After a fun night out on Saturday night, I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed and excited to see my girls. Even more excited to cook for them.

First things first, the studio needed a bit of a tune up. She was lookin’ a little sleepy and was not ready for guests.

IMG_7084.JPG

Just a few minutes later, we were ready:

IMG_7086.JPG

Much better.

Now, on to the food. I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute ingredients, and then got cooking.

First up, ‘taters. One of my friends is Gluten Free so I designed the menu to have zero gluten. Potatoes were therefore the carb of choice, and I decided to keep them simple by roasting them with some garlic, spices, and herbs.

IMG_7088.jpg

IMG_7089.JPG

IMG_7094.jpg

Popped these babies into the oven and moved on.

Next up was the star of the day, an egg white and loaded veggie frittata that I had on my mind. These girls like to keep it healthy, as do I, and I will find any way to sneak my friends some extra veggies without them even noticing. I am only looking out for their best interest and health ya know?

IMG_7097.JPG

IMG_7096.JPG

Oh yes, this turned out so well! I was very very happy with the result and will be making this one again, for sure.

I also chopped up some fruit for a colorful fruit salad. Plums, banana, strawberries, blueberries and pear.

One of my friends, Amanda, is in culinary school at ICE and just finished up “baked goods” week. HA, how convenient. Lucky for us, she brought over many, many of her leftover treats. The perfect complement to a healthy brunch.

IMG_7103.JPG

IMG_7102.JPG

IMG_7105.JPG

We loaded up on coffee and sat around finally catching up for a few hours. You know how it goes… we could have talked forever and literally lost track of time. A girls brunch success!

IMG_7108.jpg

We didn’t get a good picture of us (we tried the selfie thing a few times and pretty much failed) but here is a pic of us from last year:

mandsromy.jpg

What I loved most about the frittata was the fresh herbs. If you do make this, I would say don’t skimp on the herbs! They added such a fresh, garden taste to the eggs. This can also be made at the start of a week and cut into slices that can be used for a pre-made breakfast throughout the week. This morning, I had leftovers and just heated the slice for about 30 seconds in the microwave, added some hot sauce, and avocado toast on the side. It was great having this made ahead of the time and not having to think about it.

IMG_7133.JPG

Roasted Potatoes

  • several red and brown potatoes, of any kind
  • parsley
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika
  • olive oil
  • garlic

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil

2. Chop a few garlic cloves into tiny pieces, set aside.

3. Chop potatoes into bite sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Top with garlic, a couple tablespoons of EVOO, salt, pepper, and a generous helping of cayenne and paprika, depending on how spicy you like it. Top with parsley. Mix with hands and then spread out on baking sheet.

4. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring once.

Egg White, Veggie and Herb Frittata

(serves 5 or 6)

  • About 1 cup of egg whites (I used the ones in the carton)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup assorted bell pepper, chopped
  • handful or two of kale, chopped
  • 2 T fresh dill
  • 2 T fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • EVOO, S&P

1. Add a couple tablespoons of EVOO to a skillet. Add chopped garlic and let it cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat.

2. Add sliced onions and let them caramelize for about 10 minutes while you are chopping everything else up. Stir them occasionally and season with S&P.

3. Add mushrooms and peppers and let them cook until soft. Finally, add Kale and herbs. Allow everything to cook for a few more minutes. Season with additional S&P if desired.

4. Line a quiche dish or pie dish (or you can just keep it in the skillet) with some cooking spray.

5. Add your cooked veggies to the pie dish and then top with the cup of egg whites. Feel free to use real eggs and adjust the amount of eggs/egg whites so that the frittata is as thick as you’d like.

6. Top with a sprinkle of feta, salt and pepper.

7. Pop into a 350 degree oven. Once the egg whites are mainly cooked (after about 20 minutes), put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn! You just want the top to get slightly brown and crusty.

8. Cut and serve! Top with hot sauce if you like a kick.

Bok Choy Stir Fry with Potatoes, Apples, and Mushrooms

I’ve been really into Bok Choy lately. It’s leafy, it’s green, it’s super healthy, and SO easy to prepare. I also like how there are two parts to it: the stalky, hearty part of it and then the leafy part of it. So much bang for your buck.

Although I pride myself on never really making the same thing twice, I’ve made this same stir fry, or a slight variation of it, several times over the last couple of weeks.

I am a veggie-lover and like huge bowls of vegetables for lunch/dinner sometimes, but if you like more of a protein heavy meal, this would be great with chicken, steak, or beans.

IMG_6702.JPG

This is what I started with:

IMG_6687.jpg

I chopped it all up, and threw it in a pan with some olive oil:

IMG_6691.JPG

Let it all cook down for about 5 minutes over high heat, and added some breadcrumbs for crunch:

IMG_6693.JPG

Scrumptious.

To season, I added Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes. Sometimes I also add about half a tablespoon of butter. Because it’s just so good and picks up the flavor.

Health in a bowl, baby.

IMG_6695.JPG

IMG_6700.JPG

IMG_6704.JPG

Are you into Bok Choy? Have you had it? Like it?

 

Bok Choy Stir Fry with Potatoes, Apples, and Mushrooms

  • 3 or 4 large Bok Choy Leaves
  • 3 or 4 small red potatoes
  • 6 or 7 white mushrooms
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 or 2 T olive oil
  • Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes

1. Chop all vegetables and add to an oiled sauté pan.

2. Stir frequently over high heat for about 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs. Stir for another minute or two.

3. Enjoy a huge bowl of healthy vegetables.

Mexican Inspired Millet with Goat Cheese, Corn and Avocado

*If you haven’t seen it yet, I’m doing another 21 Day Intuitive Eating challenge in March. Check out the details and email me at jamiemendell@gmail.com if interested. *

Hi guys!

I hope you’re having a great start to your week. I just found out that it’s Presidents Day on Monday (I live in a hole sometimes) and hope you guys have it off from work. 4 day weeks rock.

Speaking of work, I get asked ALL the time for more work lunch ideas. People want things that are quick, easy and satisfying to make to bring to work, so here is an idea for you. I made this in about 20 minutes from start to finish and it made a huge batch that is now chillin’ in my fridge for the entire week.

IMG_6574.JPG

I used a grain called Millet which I have never used before. I decided I wanted to expand my whole grain carbohydrate horizons and try something other than brown rice, quinoa and oats, and Millet caught my eye in the grocery store.

Good things about millet:

– it falls into the completely unprocessed, whole grain carbohydrate category, meaning it comes straight from the earth and is super healthy!

– it is SOOO cheap

– it cooks in 15 minutes flat

– it has kind of a pasta/nutty texture to it and you can use it in anything

– it’s gluten free (not that I avoid gluten, but if you do, it’s another option)

– like most whole grain carbs, it offers a lot of vitamins and nutrients, most notably it’s a really high source of Magnesium which supports heart health. Read more about the nutrients in millet here

IMG_6558.JPG

I started by cooking the millet in a sauce pan using the simplest method I could find on the internet. 1 cup millet, 2 cups water. I brought the water to a boil, added the millet, then simmered it, covered for 15 minutes.

While it was cooking, I got the rest of my Mexican themed ingredients ready. I love tacos and taco salads, so this is kind of a spoof off of that. We’ve got some beans (lentils), cheese, avocado, and corn. Sounds taco-salad-ish to me!

I chopped a red pepper, rinsed my lentils and corn, and got out the cheese and avocado.

When the millet was done cooking, it looked like this. I thought the tiny holes were cute:

IMG_6566.jpg

Then it was time to just add everything in! I fluffed the millet with a fork, added it to a large bowl and started creating my Mexican fiesta.

IMG_6570.JPG

One reason why this is so easy is because I used a can of black lentils that I bought at the store, already cooked, and a can of corn. Using canned vegetables and beans can cut down on cooking time big time! I try to always go for low sodium or no salt added cans, and then I rinse everything off in a strainer before I use it to remove some of the additional sodium.

IMG_6576.JPG

I chopped an entire avocado, and added goat cheese at the end.

IMG_6580.JPG

IMG_6575.JPG

I would pack this for lunch, add it to a bed of greens for a salad, top it with salsa, or heat it up for dinner. And did I mention how CHEAP this is? I didn’t do the exact calculations because I didn’t save my receipts, but I would say that this entire batch, including all of the ingredients listed, only costs about $7.00, if that. Which means that per serving, you’re looking at around $2.00. Not too shabby, huh?

Anyway, enjoy this Mexican inspired dish. And if millet just doesn’t strike your fancy, you can do the same sort of thing with couscous, quinoa, brown rice, or pasta. And if you’re looking for some more protein, add some cold diced chicken to this… yum!

Mexican Inspired Millet

(makes 3-4 servings)

  • 1 cup millet, dry
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can corn, rinsed
  • 1 can black lentils, rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 T goat cheese
  • S&P

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan.

2. Rinse millet and then add it to the water. Stir once, turn down the heat and cover, simmering for 15 minutes.

3. Once millet is done, fluff it with a fork and move it to a large bowl. Top with corn, lentils, pepper, chopped avocado, and goat cheese. Stir it all together. Add S&P to taste.

 

Roasted Vegetable and Spiced Chickpea Salad

Good morning!

Man, do I have a salad recipe for you. I think that if I were to ever have a restaurant, this salad would probably be on the menu. It’s interesting, it has a ton of flavor, it has all of your food groups, it’s incredibly healthy, and the various textures keeps each bite tasting a little different.

IMG_6490.jpg

I made this while I was at my parents house in CT yesterday. I was craving a big salad for lunch, but was also really cold in my house (my parents keep the house freezing), so I decided to add some warm vegetables on top.

IMG_6493.JPG

I started with a base of chopped romaine, cucumbers, and baby tomatoes.

IMG_6496.JPG

I then laid out chopped sweet potatoes on a pan and drizzled them with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt. I kept them very simple.

IMG_6486.JPG

For the mushrooms, I added them to a large bowl and covered them in balsamic vinegar. I mixed it all up with my hands to make sure the ‘shrooms were covered in vinegar, and then laid them out next to the sweet potatoes on a baking tray. Added Salt and Pepper.

IMG_6500.JPG

For the chickpeas, I laid out a can of them on another baking tray, added salt, chipotle chil powder, chili powder and nutmeg. I taste tested them until they were spicy enough.

I then popped both trays into a 450 degree oven (chickpeas on one tray, mushrooms/sweet potatoes on another). After about 10 minutes, everything was cooked through and crispy.

IMG_6494.JPG

I assembled everything and added sliced almonds and drizzles of more balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard as a dressing.

So there you have it… a quick and easy spruced up salad. Who said salads have to be boring?

How do you spruce up your salads? What are your favorite ingredients to include?

Roasted Vegetable and Spiced Chickpea Salad

(serves 1)

These are all rough measurements:

  • about a 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 sweet potato
  • small container of whole mushrooms
  • 2-3 cups of romaine
  • handful of baby tomatoes
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • 2 T slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Spices: whatever you’d like to use for the chickpeas- I used chipotle chili powder, salt, chili powder, and nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Add balsamic vinegar to mushrooms in a large bowl. Mix well, then lay out mushrooms on a foil lined baking sheet. Add S&P. Add sweet potato chunks to baking sheet. Drizzle sweet potato with a little olive oil and salt.

3. For the chickpeas: rinse and drain, then lay out on a foil lined baking sheet. Add a sprinkle of olive oil, salt, and spices (start with just a dash of each and then add more based on how spicy you want it).

4. Add everything to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until mushrooms and potatoes are cooked through and chickpeas are crispy.

5. Combine romaine, tomatoes and cucumbers. Top with roasted vegetables and chickpeas. Top with slivered almonds. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top, or dressing of your choice.

Mom’s Famous Pasta Sauce

My Mom made this pasta sauce for the first time a few years ago, and it quickly became one of my all time favorite Mom recipes.

It’s more than just pasta sauce. It’s like a thick, hearty, kind of “stew”. And you can use it in so many different ways. It’s multifunctional, if you will. AND, it’s so healthy. It’s packed with veggies, lean ground turkey, and a ton of flavor.

Talk about a good way to sneak in a ton of veggies.

IMG_6409.JPG

I love it even more because it takes 30 minutes from start to finish, you can make a huge batch of it at once, and it takes one pan. One pan! Perfect for a tiny kitchen like mine.

IMG_6397.JPG

All you do is turn on the skillet, brown a package of ground turkey, add in some chopped vegetables (you can use whatever you have on hand), add a jar of really good pasta sauce, bring everything to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

IMG_6402.JPG

Now let’s discuss the multi functionality of this pasta sauce. The first time I had it this week, I added it to whole wheat angel hair pasta and topped it off with freshly grated parmesan cheese. And some wine, obviously.

Then, I had some leftovers on top of a bed of spinach for a light lunch the other day.

IMG_6406.JPG

IMG_6407.JPG

It’s also really good on it’s own. The other night, I came home late and starving and needed something quick to eat before I went to bed. Mom’s Pasta Sauce won again.

I was also thinking that it would be great loaded on top of a couple slices of fresh toasted bread, sort of like sloppy-joe style.

The possibilities are endless.

I hope you enjoy this easy, healthy, spruced up pasta sauce, courtesy of my mama!

Mom’s Famous Pasta Sauce: With Ground Turkey and Vegetables

(makes about 6 servings)

  • 1 package lean ground turkey
  • any veggies you want. I used: 1/2 onion, 1 green pepper, 1 yellow pepper, large package of mushrooms, handful of kale
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • any spices you’d like to add. I added dried basil, salt and pepper.

1. Turn skillet on high heat.

2. Add the package of ground turkey. Cook until it is brown all the way through.

3. Add veggies, cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

4. Add jar of pasta sauce. Bring everything to a boil, then allow to simmer. You can let it cook for as long as you want (hours if you want), but at least 20 minutes so everything is soft.

Chicken and Grilled Vegetable Pizza

Oh, pizza. How I love you!

I think that I was Italian in another life. I can eat pizza and pasta most nights of the week and be perfectly content. With some wine, of course.

I made two kinds of pizza last week: Simple Grilled Vegetable Pizza and then a Chunky Chicken/Grilled Vegetable Pizza. Both were thin crust, crispy, and delicious.

I started off grilling some veggies on a grill pan. Us New Yorkers don’t really have access to grills, so grill pan it is.

IMG_6365.JPG

IMG_6233.JPG

Above you see an eggplant, a few bell peppers, and a zucchini. I didn’t even use any oil or anything on the pan– just simply grilled these babies up!

I rolled out my whole wheat dough, which took some considerable arm strength I might add, and then topped it with some basic sauce.

IMG_6240.JPG

IMG_6242.JPG

For the vegetable pizza, I just layered on the veggies whole:

IMG_6244.jpg

Topped with some mozzarella:

IMG_6248.JPG

In the oven and back out again:

IMG_6265.jpg

Literally couldn’t stop taking pictures.

IMG_6313.JPG

IMG_6312.JPG

And for the chicken/veggie pizza, I decided to dice up the grilled veggies and add baked chicken (I had baked this a few days prior and had it frozen). Otherwise, it was the same process. Dough, sauce, topped with the same veggies and chicken, shredded mozzarella on top.

IMG_6279.jpg

IMG_6285.JPG

IMG_6292.jpg

I hope you enjoy this as a healthy dinner (what? we’ve got some whole wheat carbs, veggies, chicken, cheese… pizza can be healthy!), lunch or even a slice as a snack. It’s a pretty well rounded meal if you ask me.

If you haven’t seen my posts yet about Intuitive Eating and the 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge I’m hosting starting Feb 1, check them out here! Would love to have you join.

Grilled Vegetable Pizza

  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (or regular)
  • About 1/2 cup of pizza or pasta sauce of your choice
  • Veggies: I used eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers
  • About 1/2- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • S&P, crushed red pepper flakes
  • Flour for working with the dough
  • Sprinkle of cornmeal for the baking pan.

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Slice your veggies and get them grilling on the grill pan. After a few minutes, turn them, so that they are cooked on both sides. If you keep your heat on high, the whole grilling process should only take about 5 minutes per batch (I had to do a few batches because my grill pan is small).

3. Work the dough into pizza form, using flour to help you from it sticking to your hands. Use a rolling pin if you have one. Once it is formed, sprinkle a baking pan with cornmeal. Add dough to the baking pan.

4. Add sauce. Top with grilled veggies and mozzarella.

5. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the crust start to brown.

Grilled Vegetable and Chicken Pizza

  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (or regular)
  • About 1/2 cup of pizza or pasta sauce of your choice
  • Veggies: I used eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers
  • About 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 baked chicken breasts, chopped
  • S&P, crushed red pepper flakes
  • Flour for working with the dough
  • Sprinkle of cornmeal for the baking pan.

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Slice your veggies and get them grilling on the grill pan. After a few minutes, turn them, so that they are cooked on both sides. If you keep your heat on high, the whole grilling process should only take about 5 minutes per batch (I had to do a few batches because my grill pan is small).

3. Work the dough into pizza form, using flour to help you from it sticking to your hands. Use a rolling pin if you have one. Once it is formed, sprinkle a baking pan with cornmeal. Add dough to the baking pan.

4. Add sauce. Chop grilled veggies and chicken, and add to the pizza. Top with mozzarella.

5. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the crust start to brown.

Simple Winter Pasta in a Light Coat of Butter

When I was a kid, I used to always order a huge plate of ziti with butter and parmesan at restaurants. Tiny bit of sauce on the side, but JUST a tiny bit (I was very “particular”). Regardless of the variety of food on the menu, if you put some pasta and butter in front of me, I was cool as a cucumber.

These days, I am still fond of my pasta and butter combo. Some things don’t change…I knew what was up as a youngin’.

There’s just something about real butter, you know? It’s not necessarily the healthiest thing you can eat, but it’s so delicious. And we all deserve deliciousness.

IMG_6178.jpg

Real butter goes a long way. The plate you see only has half a tablespoon of butter, just enough…and totally necessary.

IMG_6179.jpg

The whole wheat pasta, sweet potato, peas and spinach provide wholesome nourishment, and the butter gives you that closed-eyed “mmmm” feeling of richness.

IMG_6182.jpg

IMG_6175.jpg

Simply seasoned with some salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick, and you’ve got yourself a comforting winter meal.

IMG_6185.jpg

IMG_6184.jpg

Topped with parm… what more could you want?

IMG_6186.jpg

The little kid inside of me was so happy with this meal. She even got some extra nutrition today with all the veggies. Win-Win.

Enjoy! 🙂

Simple Winter Pasta in a Light Coat of Butter

(serves 1 or 2)

  • about 1.5 cups of whole wheat pasta shells, cooked.
  • about .5 cups Maple Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • handful of spinach
  • handful of frozen peas
  • dashes of salt, pepper, crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 T Butter
  • parmesan cheese

Mix all together in a pot over low heat. Enjoy the taste of real butter.

P.S. If you’re interested in participating in my 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge starting Feb 1st, (more info at the end of this post), remember to email me at jamiemendell@gmail.com to get signed up!

Mediterranean Lentils Over Brown Rice

So you’re commuting home from work, you have no idea what to make for dinner, and you have little time to come up with something. This, my friends, is a solid option. It takes 5 minutes of prep time, and then you walk away from the kitchen for about a half hour while you change out of your uncomfortable work clothes and get settled.

And then voila! Dinner is ready. It makes itself with hardly any work on your part.

IMG_6057.JPG

For this recipe, you simply add a cup of dried lentils, 3 cups of water, a can of tomatoes, a can of artichokes, a couple handfuls of olives, a handful of raisins and some spices to a pan. Bring it all up to a boil, and then let it simmer. Walk away, and then come back about a half hour later. For the rice, I follow this method and it comes out perfectly every time.

This is how everything starts out in your skillet:

IMG_6048.JPG

Some of the liquid boils off, and you’re left with a thick, hearty mixture of flavors. If you want it to be a little bit more liquidy so that it has more of a sauce, just add a little bit more water at the beginning.

IMG_6068.JPG

This makes a big batch so you can serve your family or pack it as leftovers. If you want to bring it to work throughout the week, just pack it into a few different tupperwares, and heat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes before you’re ready to eat.

IMG_6052.JPG

IMG_6055.JPG

And don’t skimp on the raisins! They were one of the best parts, in my opinion. When you let the raisins cook the entire time, they plump up from the heat and water and get extra sweet.

IMG_6051.JPG

I hope you enjoy this one. It is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made and tastes absolutely delicious. It has a TON of flavor from all of the bold ingredients and did I mention how healthy it is too? Simply lentils, vegetables, some spices, and brown rice. Can’t get any healthier than that! Also, it is totally vegan and gluten free if you’re looking for recipes that fit that bill. And if you’re looking for something similar, but want some meat involved, check out my Mediterranean Chicken.

Mediterranean Lentils Over Brown Rice

(makes about 3 entree servings)

  • 1 cup dried lentils (I used red, but you can use green or another kind)
  • 3 cups water (or more if you like it more saucy)
  • 1 can tomatoes (I used peeled, whole tomatoes but you can use diced) and the juice from the can
  • 1 can artichokes in water, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 t basil
  • 2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the rice, just make a big batch. Use 1 cup dried brown rice and follow this method.

1. In a large skillet, add all ingredients at once. If using whole tomatoes, break them up a bit with a knife or your hands. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. You can stir occasionally.

2. Serve over your brown rice.

Massaged Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

I really wish I could make this salad for every single one of you. As someone who is mildly obsessed with vegetables and their benefits, I would practically pay you to let me feed this to you.

It is one of the healthiest (and in my opinion- most delicious) things you will find on this blog, and it is a heck of a way to kick off the New Year. This salad is LOADED with things that are good for you, and I made it in a way that you will want to eat the entire bowl in one sitting. Even if you think you don’t like Kale!

IMG_6025.JPG

Caramelized onions add a sweetness factor, avocado is hearty with lots of healthy fats, salted sunflower seeds add a punch of flavor and crunch, and a creamy tahini dressing brings it all together. If you’re not familiar with tahini, it is just pureed sesame seeds. It goes into hummus, so it resembles that type of flavor. You can pick it up at any grocery store and it comes in a jar similar to that of peanut butter.

I even “massaged” the kale leaves to break down their tough exterior. By massaging the leaves, it breaks down their tough cellulose structure, making the kale softer, less bitter, and easier to digest.

And…. this entire salad comes together in 15 minutes. Not to mention you can store it in your fridge and eat it 3 or 4 times during the week.

So let’s get started. First of all, get your red onion cranking. You want to let the onions cook for the entire time you are putting the salad together (about 15 minutes) so that they get nice and soft. Simple coat a pan with some EVOO, slice your onions super thin, and add them to the pan. Move them around every few minutes so that they don’t burn, and cook over medium heat.

IMG_6015.jpg

Now, let’s get the Kale going. I bought one bunch of Kale at the grocery store for about $2. Rip the leaves off the stems, and using your hands, just break the leaves into bite sized pieces. Add it all to a strainer and rinse. Transfer to a large salad bowl.

IMG_6017.jpg

Now let’s do the dressing. Mix 1 tablespoon tahini with 2 tablespoons water and a half tablespoon of EVOO. Mix in a small dressing bowl.

Are you ready to massage!??!

IMG_6016.jpg

Make sure your hands are clean, pour the dressing over the kale, and just spend two or three minutes massaging the dressing into the kale with your hands. Press it into the leaves, and you’ll notice the leaves immediately break down and wilt a little bit. Make sure the dressing is all up in there.

IMG_6020.JPG

Fannntastic.

Next step is to chop half an avocado. You can also use a whole avocado depending on your preference. Once that is done, you are ready to assemble.

Your onions should be done now, so add them to your kale, then top with avocado and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

IMG_6022.jpg

IMG_6023.JPG

IMG_6027.JPG

And there you have it! One of the healthiest things you can possible cook, all dressed up with tons of flavor and a delicious dressing.

I served myself a heaping bowl of this for lunch yesterday and added a drizzle more of straight up tahini on top for a little more flavor.

IMG_6028.jpg

I have a feeling this salad will turn into a staple in my lil’ Studio. I already can’t wait to break into the leftovers and I feel amazing eating this. I hope you give it a shot!

Massaged Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

(this makes at least 4 or 5 small servings…but I eat it as a meal so it made about 2.5 large servings for me. )

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 2 T sunflower seeds (I used roasted and salted)
  • 1 T tahini
  • 2 T water
  • 1 T olive oil (half for the pan for the onions, half for the dressing)

1. Slice onion very thin. Add to a oiled pan and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Every few minutes, just stir the onions to keep them from burning.

2. While onions cook, prepare Kale. Break leaves off stems and into small bite sized pieces. Rinse and transfer to salad bowl.

3. For dressing: mix together tahini, water and 1/2 of EVOO. Stir. Add to Kale and massage into it with your fingers for 2-3 minutes.

4. Top kale with onions, avocado and sesame seeds.

5. Optional: drizzle your portion of salad with a little more tahini if you’d like some more flavor.

Sweet Potatoes Made Easy: Roasted with Maple and Fresh Rosemary

Good morning guys!

I’m really excited this morning. Yesterday I bought a desk that I am in LOVE with and I’m sitting at it typing away for the first time this morning. I decided I needed a desk if I were to get serious about getting anything done in my apartment, so I went on craigslist, searched for exactly what I wanted “shabby chic white desk”, and found one that fit the bill for super cheap. Not to mention that the nice couple delivered it to me from Jersey City for $15 within a few hours. The whole process went pretty much as smooth as it could have possibly gone and I’m sorta kinda obsessed with my new piece of furniture.

OKAY so now that I’ve calmed my excitement, let’s talk sweet potatoes! I almost didn’t get around to posting this because it had been so long since I made them (last Sunday), but then I thought no way, they HAVE to have this recipe. It’s a really really good one.

Allow me to introduce you to Maple Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

First of all, I just learned in my nutrition class the other day how many antioxidants sweet potatoes have. Like, they are packed. Additionally, they contain TONS of Vitamin A which is needed for your vision, bone growth and skin/membrane growth. So eat ’em up!

IMG_5216.JPG

IMG_5245.JPG

The reason why I love this sweet potato recipe so much is that they are so simple to make, yet they make your kitchen smell ridiculously good and they add some serious flavor to a normal sweet potato.

All you have to do is chop up the sweet potatoes into bite sized chunks, add them to a bowl and drizzle a little bit of olive oil, maple syrup, and rosemary sprigs on top. Roast in a 450 degree oven for about a half hour.

IMG_5251.jpg

And then once they are done, just store them in a tupperware and eat them all week long. With anything and everything. Some examples of how I used these throughout the last week:

IMG_5342.JPG

Salad: bean burgers, veggies, avocado, sweet potato, spinach

IMG_5407.JPG

Snack: baked chicken, sweet potatoes, avocado, BBQ sauce

IMG_5411.JPG

Lunch: veggie stir fry with pesto

IMG_5427.JPG

Dinner: pasta with bean burger, sweet potato, spinach and pesto

Clearly I used up the same ingredients all week just in different combinations, but I loved having these tasty, soft sweet potatoes to add to everything.

I don’t know if I will ever make sweet potatoes any other way again. These were SO easy and absolutely delicious. So get your Vitamin A and antioxidants on! I hope you enjoy 🙂

Maple Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 1.5 LARGE sweet potatoes, or 2 small ones, or however many you want. But this recipe is for what I made, which is using 1.5 very large potatoes.
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 or 6 fresh rosemary sprigs

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Wash sweet potatoes and roughly chop in to bite sized pieces.

3. In a large bowl, drizzle the maple syrup and olive oil on top of the potatoes. Add the rosemary leaves from the sprigs (just roughly pull off the leaves).

4. Toss everything thoroughly to coat. Lay ‘taters on a greased baking sheet (I use PAM) and pop into oven for about a half hour, or until cooked through.