Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur Wheat with a Ginger Garlic Dressing

I’m never thrilled about cooking brown rice… It’s just not appealing to me! I’ll mix it with beans, peas, and soups but I avoid eating it when it’s lonely and separate from all the other foods on my plate. Luckily, we have so many grain options at our grocery stores now in the U.S. Just look at this dirt-cheap sale!>>

Bulgur wheat is quick and affordable. The nutritional content is very similar to quinoa (minerals and B vitamins) except it has a little less calories.

It tastes a bit nutty like farro but smaller. I presume it’s versatile in about any type of entree. If you’re an oatmeal connoisseur like me, you’ll be very happy to know it resembles steel-cut oats with its dense almost crunchy texture!

As you probably may have noticed, my stir-fry is not overly cooked. (The vegetables are firm and the colors are vibrant). You’ll see in my recipe below how I achieve this. I don’t do it intentionally to save calories or to retain more vitamins and minerals… I just really prefer the taste and texture. Call it al dente, call it tasty, I don’t care.

It’s a win, win!

Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur with a Ginger Garlic Dressing
Print Recipe
Easy and affordable bok choy stiry fry over bulgur wheat mixed with garlic ginger dressing. An asian-inspired meal with a unique grain.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur with a Ginger Garlic Dressing
Print Recipe
Easy and affordable bok choy stiry fry over bulgur wheat mixed with garlic ginger dressing. An asian-inspired meal with a unique grain.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Vegetables
  • 3/4 cup Bulgur wheat, measured dry
  • <1/2 teaspoon Vegetable bouillon cube Optional, or use a broth
  • 1 tablespoon Oil, canola
  • 3-4 whole Carrots, large, slice 1/4-1/2" thick
  • 1/4 cup Onion, yellow or white, diced
  • 3 whole Bell peppers, diced Variety of orange, yellow, red, etc.
  • 1 lb Bok choy, roughly chopped Substitute cabbage, collard or kale greens
Garlic Ginger Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger, fresh, grated I use the chilled tubed variety
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sweet chili sauce *Optional
  • 2 tablespoons Rice vinegar Or substitute with a white vinegar
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat large skillet to medium heat. Add canola oil once warm. In a small-medium pan, begin boiling bulgur per labeled directions, adding a bouillon cube or broth if you'd like. This should take 15 minutes maximum to cook.
  2. Add the sliced carrots to the hot skillet. Stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or so. Once the carrots begin to tenderize a little bit, add onion and peppers together until almost caramelized (another 3 minutes.) Add bok choy (or substitute collard greens, kale or cabbage).
  3. To continue cooking the bok choy (or greens), reduce the heat to slightly below medium and cover the pan to allow to steam until desired texture is achieved! This should only take 2 minutes or so.
  4. Saute garlic with olive oil: In a small skillet on medium heat, with one tablespoon of olive oil, once hot, add minced garlic and saute until golden and aromatic. (30 seconds to 1 minute.) Place garlic and extra oils from pan and add to a small bowl with the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, sweet chili sauce (optional). Whisk liquid sauce. Add sauce to vegetables.
  5. Serve sauced vegetables over the warm bulgur wheat! (You can also combine all of these thing and of course multiply the sauce if you're needing that drippy feel!)
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per (1/4th of recipe) serving:

Calories 312 | Fat 12 | Carbohydrates 53.1 |Fiber 10.1 | Protein 9.4

Sodium: 273 mg

  • I realize I have 3 different oils in this recipe. If you can't make it to the store for sesame oil, I would just wait until next time you make it. (The flavor is A LOT tastier.) And use just canola oil for the entire recipe.
  • Calorie reduction tips: Double leafy greens and/or peppers to stir fry. Use a non-stick pan, steam instead of adding oil, and save a bout 1/4th of the amount of calories.
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Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with Broccolini

As I’m posting this, I’m realizing many of us are probably sorting out recipes for the holiday dinners. I’m thinking pies, casseroles, and cocktails are invading your brain right now.

I’ll just pretend some of you are interested in some vegetables!

This pad thai can be made with any type of protein you’d like. In my recipe you’ll see I used tempeh; chicken is specified as an alternative for those who would rather cook up some meat. To stir fry the tempeh/chicken all I used was peanut butter and coconut oil! The sauce you stir in has plenty of flavor.

The spaghetti squash works perfectly as noodles in the pad thai… and you will most likely have some left over!

Pro tip: If you have to be cautious with your sodium intake, add the remaining roasted spaghetti squash noodles to a small portion of your serving instead of the saucy pad thai noodles

I hope everyone enjoys the holidays this weekend and finds room for more meals like this! <3

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Print Recipe
Spaghetti squash converts this traditional pad thai recipe into a plant-based (and gluten free) dinner meal. Squash 'noodles' combined with saucy peanut sauteed tempeh (or chicken) with fresh broccolini and a little bit of a spicy kick makes for a great summer or cozy winter meal!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Print Recipe
Spaghetti squash converts this traditional pad thai recipe into a plant-based (and gluten free) dinner meal. Squash 'noodles' combined with saucy peanut sauteed tempeh (or chicken) with fresh broccolini and a little bit of a spicy kick makes for a great summer or cozy winter meal!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Spaghetti Squash (Noodles)
  • 1 medium Spaghetti squash ~5 cups cooked
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil, extra virgin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Skillet
  • 2 x 7.5 oz container Tempeh, cubed I use Lightlife (either Three grain or Original) ; or use 14oz-1lb chicken
  • 2 tbsp Peanut butter, creamy, natural With salt
  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut oil or canola oil For the skillet
  • 1 bunch Broccolini 4 cups minimum
  • 1 cup Mung bean sprouts *Optional
  • 1/4 cup Green onion, chopped *Optional
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts, crumbled Additional 1/4 cup for garnish is optional
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, roughly chopped *Optional
  • 1 whole Lime, halved and juiced *Optional
Pad Thai Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Sweet chili sauce I used Trader Joe's
  • 3 tbsp Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp Rice vinegar
  • Pinch of red chili flakes *Optional
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the spaghetti squash to roast. Slice the spaghetti squash lengthwise in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It will be ready when it's fork tender and you can scoop out the squash like spaghetti noodles.
  2. Next, prepare either the sauteed chicken or tempeh. In a large (deep) skillet, on medium heat, add either 1 tbsp canola oil or coconut oil when warm, then add 2 tbsp of the peanut butter, and about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. *This is for about 1 pound of chicken or 15 oz of tempeh*
  3. While the chicken (or tempeh) is cooking create the sauce for the entire pad thai seperately. In a small bowl mix together rice wine vinegar - 1 tbsp, and 3 tbsp each of sweet chili sauce and low-sodium soy sauce. Pinch of red chili flakes if you like it hot.
  4. When chicken (or tempeh) is cooked add the trimmed broccolini (or broccoli florets) to the large skillet on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add extra oil and black pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm if the squash is still cooking in the oven.
  5. Once spaghetti squash is cooked, add at least half of the spaghetti squash to the skillet stirring frequently. Combine the sprouts, sauce, green onion, and 1/4 c crushed peanuts. Garnish with lemon juice and cilantro, as well as additional 1/4 cup of peanuts (if you'd like).... then serve!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (2/3 cup) serving

Calories 320 | Fat 16 | Carbohydrates 28.7 | Fiber 10.2 | Protein 20.1

  • Nutrition Information includes: tempeh,1/4 cup of peanuts, and 5 cups of cooked spaghetti squash
  • Protein: If you'd like to use chicken, cube about 14 oz to 1 lb of raw chicken in replacement of the tempeh.
  • If you have more than 5 cups of spaghetti squash I suggest keeping it separate and adding it as needed per meal time.
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Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta

Nothing complicated about this pasta dish at all. Roasting vegetables in olive oil is simple, tasty and makes every meal come together so nicely! You can do eggplant, butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini, additional kale, really any vegetable you desire or already have in the house.

Try this fall friendly recipe out or let your imagine roll. Whole wheat (especially whole grains) coupled with vegetables is a perfect base for main meals; the protein can be added last or added to the baking process.

Get cooking, and if you experiment, let me know what you come up with!

 

Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta
Print Recipe
Roasted eggplant, artichokes, and kale come together with whole wheat orzo for a simple easy to make dinner.
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta
Print Recipe
Roasted eggplant, artichokes, and kale come together with whole wheat orzo for a simple easy to make dinner.
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Orzo pasta
  • 1 medium Eggplant
  • 1/2 bunch Kale, fresh, chopped
  • 1 cup Artichokes, marinated in vinegar and olive oil Quartered, drained
  • 3-4 cloves(s) Garlic, fresh Or use 2 tablespoons of jarred minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper To taste
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Cut eggplant in half (long ways is easier so you can rinse the salt off). Sprinkle with fine kosher salt. Let sit for ~ 30 mins. Preheat oven to 425. Prepare and chop garlic and kale.
  2. Cube eggplant uniformly and toss in olive. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and disperse the eggplant evenly on sheet. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until tender and cooked through.
  3. Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of whole wheat orzo pasta to the pot. While pasta cooks- sauté garlic in olive oil on medium, adding kale last.
  4. Once pasta is al dente, add the cooked ingredients all in one pot: sautéed kale and garlic, roasted eggplant, and rinsed artichoke.
  5. Serve warm. This dish pairs well with just about everything and works well if you have leftover chicken to throw in!
Recipe Notes
  • To reduce calories simply steam kale and reduce olive oil
  • This recipe is not high in protein, so for most individuals consider this a side for a meal that includes meat, poultry or fish
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Chicken Artichoke Stir Fry

I get that chicken can get boring. Sometimes the thought of ‘cooking some chicken’ makes for boring dishes. Cooking chicken in bulk gets boring, and you need tons of different recipes to keep everyone interested throughout the week. Instead of making things difficult I like to spice things up with vegetables

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This dish has fresh cherry tomatoes plus marinated artichokes that you can find in a jar at any local grocery store. Look for vinegar and olive oil, and not much more on the label.

All you need to do is warm your skillet with you favorite oil (I used coconut oil) – rub your chicken with seasoning – cook chicken + vegetables…. and you’re done!

Serve this over a bed of jasmine rice or pile it into your favorite whole wheat pita. This artichoke recipe doesn’t need the added cheese and cream and is complete in less than 15 minutes!

Chicken Artichoke Stir Fry
Print Recipe
A 10 minute chicken dish made light with sauteed artichokes and fresh cherry tomatoes. Stir fry for two!
Servings
2 3 oz portions
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings
2 3 oz portions
Cook Time
10 minutes
Chicken Artichoke Stir Fry
Print Recipe
A 10 minute chicken dish made light with sauteed artichokes and fresh cherry tomatoes. Stir fry for two!
Servings
2 3 oz portions
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings
2 3 oz portions
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 oz Chicken Breast, fresh, cut into tenders
  • 1/2 cup Artichokes, marinated in vinegar and olive oil These are jarred
  • 1/2 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Oil: Canola or coconut etc.
Servings: 3 oz portions
Instructions
  1. Thaw chicken. Cut into tenders. Rub chili powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  2. Heat medium skillet to medium-high heat with canola or coconut oil. Once warm add chicken and cook about 3 mins on one side before adding vegetables.
  3. Add quartered artichokes and halved cherry tomatoes. Flip chicken and continue to cook for about 3 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Serve this over a bed of jasmine rice or pile it into your favorite whole wheat pita.
Recipe Notes

Recipe is made in accordance to 1 large chicken breast

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Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}

So, I used this fancy Italian ‘lacinato kale’ instead of regular kale… because it looked pretty. I’ll be honest though, it didn’t taste much different. The chopping however was quick and painless!

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After chopping up all the vegetables I wanted to add fresh herbs and continue adding all the flavors… but I’m glad I resisted. This salad is tasty because of how simple it is. Just garlic, olive oil and rosemary.

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When you begin adding the kale to the pan, be patient…the kale takes the longest to cook down. But if you’re antsy, add a tad bit of water (technical terms) and top the pan. This will make the lettuce tender, and shorten the cooking time.

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Of course don’t forget to rinse and drain any canned beans you choose to use. If you go with the dried beans…more power to you! But I do suggest cooking the dried beans prior to starting this recipe to make it nice and quick.

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Black eyed peas or any semi-soft white bean will work.

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Tomatoes are next. Then add the cooked beans and white wine vinegar. White wine vinegar is crucial for this salad, but if anyone uses a substitute that pans out well, post it at the bottom and let me know!

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Serve it up warm, with a glass of wine, and you’re done for the night 😉 If you need additional protein though, see my notes at the bottom!

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This salad was perfect for a small dinner, but

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Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Lightly sautéed lacinato kale, chunks of tomato, garlic and white beans. This warm salad is wholesome, quick, and a great option for those who enjoy incorporating plant-based meals for dinner.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Lightly sautéed lacinato kale, chunks of tomato, garlic and white beans. This warm salad is wholesome, quick, and a great option for those who enjoy incorporating plant-based meals for dinner.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch Kale, fresh, chopped, stems removed Lacinato, or regular
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 15 oz can Black eyed peas Navy beans work well too
  • 1 large Tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated Also jarred/canned works well here!
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary, dry Or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 2 teaspoons White wine vinegar
Servings: salads
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat with olive oil, add garlic and rosemary. Cook until aromatic, not brown, for a maximum of 2 minutes.
  2. Add kale to pan. Stir occasionally, cook for 10 minutes or more. (Steaming with a top and additional 2-5 tsp of water is optional) Next, add tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes or until warm.
  3. Stir in beans, vinegar, (and salt and pepper if you'd like). Cook for 2 or so minutes until beans are cooked to liking.
Recipe Notes
  • Serve warm
  • Storage: stays well for up to 5 days
  • For those who need additional protein: Stir fry sliced chicken breast (1/2 - 1 lb) in rosemary and olive oil prior to the recipe and keep warm.

Nutrition information per entire recipe:

Calories 551 Fat 17g Carbohydrates 77g Fiber 24g Protein 27g

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Thai Chickpea Salad with Spiralized Sweet Potato and Zucchini Noodles {Vegetarian}

Fueled by new kitchen tools, this thai noodle (I’ll call it a salad I suppose) is perfectly refreshing, crunchy, and extremely attractive! This seriously beats regular thai noodles, big time.

Be prepared to fall in love.

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So, step one of this recipe was a success in itself. No blood was shed…so pretty great right? I hope everyone has a nice kitchen tool to allow them to do this spiraling method. But if not, it’s not the end of the world. Use those knife skills and julienne some bell peppers, maybe use a large cheese grater for squash and other root vegetables, and add the copious amounts of vegetables to a thin spaghetti, like whole wheat angel hair!

ThaiCZ2 After looking around at one of my favorite blogs I was truly inspired. Half Baked Harvest had exactly what I wanted, and this is where I adapted the recipe. Her dressing is outstanding, and I can’t wait to make it again once I get more limes! Everything in this dressing should be in your pantry…and if it isn’t then it’s about time you get it stocked. 🙂

For this recipe you’ll be happy to discover only a couple bowls are being used. A small bowl for the dressing, and a medium-large bowl for the ‘noodles’ or vegetables. You’ll see I used a variety of colors for sweet bell peppers, zucchini and summer squash, and sweet potato!  

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Typically I’ll use chickpeas INSTEAD of peanuts in recipes. But, this is thai and all the flavors and texture matters! I used about 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (or 1 can) and 1/2 of a cup of roasted, lightly salted, peanuts. If you have any peanut allergies in the house, go with slivered almonds instead or double the beans.

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Did I mention that nothing has to be cooked? Sweet potatoes, nothing!

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Just lots of fresh herbs as you can see. And whisking up this delicious ginger vinaigrette!

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Guarantee once you mix in the dressing you’ll want to eat up asap.

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If you choose, garnish with chopped green onion or add some chicken if you need it.

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Thai Chickpea Salad with Spiralized Sweet Potato and Zucchini Noodles
Print Recipe
A plant-based thai noodle salad with roasted peanuts and a ginger vinaigrette. No pasta required!
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Thai Chickpea Salad with Spiralized Sweet Potato and Zucchini Noodles
Print Recipe
A plant-based thai noodle salad with roasted peanuts and a ginger vinaigrette. No pasta required!
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Thai noodle base
  • 1 medium Sweet potato
  • 2-3 medium Squash- Summer and Zucchini (Green and yellow varieties)
  • 2 medium Sweet bell peppers (Yellow, red etc.)
  • 2 cups Basil leaves, fresh, chopped roughly
  • 1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained, rinsed About 2 cups, more if preferred
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts, roasted
Ginger Vinaigrette
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce, low sodium I suggest Bragg's
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce Optional! Adds a ton of flavor though.
  • 1 tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 1 medium Lime, juiced Or 2 tbsp
  • 2 tsp Ginger, fresh, grated
  • 1-2 tsp Siracha
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
Optional for topping
  • Chicken for serving
  • Green onion for garnish
  • Additional peanuts for serving
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Clean and spiralize all vegetables. Sweet bell peppers and possibly other substitute vegetables may be julienned or sliced thinly. Rinse chickpeas 2-3 times in colander. Chop up the 2 cups of fresh basil. Add 1/2 cup of lightly salted, roasted, peanuts. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. For the dressing chop up the 1/4 cup of cilantro and remaining ingredients. Whisk together dressing in a small bowl. Toss the dressing into the medium bowl with the spiralized vegetable mix.
  3. Garnish as you wish! With cilantro, chopped green onion, or add chicken to the dish for additional protein if needed.
Recipe Notes

Calories please wait for calories to be posted! Thank you!

  • Raw vegetables and root vegetables can be substituted for whatever you like: options include beets, potatoes, squash, additional watercress etc.
  • Recipe is adapted from Half Baked Harvest 's Rainbow Veggie Pad Thai Noodles- the dressing is key!
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Garlic Honey Chickpea Kale Salad {Vegetarian}

This recipe is perfect for those of you who love a bunch of flavor, but don’t have a bunch of ingredients. It’s light, crunchy, with a touch of honey to balance the warm spices in the chickpeas!

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First thing you want to do is clean and trim your kale. I usually do this when I bring it home because I hate dirty vegetables going into the fridge! You’ll want a solid 6 cups of trimmed kale prepared. I grabbed some local kale for only 99 cents per bunch, so I actually was able to make this salad twice!

Now set your oven to 350 degrees to get the chickpeas ready to roast. My favorite part! Toss the chickpeas in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil plus about 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, ground cinnamon, red chili powder, cumin, all spice, and garlic powder. Salt and pepper too if you feel you need it! These flavor combinations are all adjustable, so do what your heart desires, I like warm all spice and cinnamon, but they’re not crucial for flavor!

For this recipe I was looking for a CRUNCH. So, the cook time ranges from 50 minutes to an hour. I recommend flipping the chickpeas in the middle if you can remember! My oven didn’t take a full hour to make a crispy chickpea. You can do this part ahead of time, perfect for snacking.

While the chickpeas are crisping add all of the ingredients for the kale salad together. If you allow the dressing to sit in the kale for an hour or so you’ll notice the kale shrinks up. But if you’re feeling impatient I suppose you can double the dressing to make the kale more palatable.

Whisk minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. You’ll want 1 whole lemon at least or 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. For salads I always use a rich extra virgin olive oil and usually don’t need too much.

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Once the chickpeas are toasted, toss them in the kale and eat up!

This salad made my mouth real happy. I felt full after eating it as a snack but I think the best combination was dinner. Pair this with a rotisserie chicken a couple of times a week and make your life easier after work!

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Garlic Honey Chickpea Kale Salad
Print Recipe
Crispy spiced chickpeas tossed in a slightly sweet garlic honey kale salad.
Servings Prep Time
4 side salads, 2 full 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 side salads, 2 full 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Garlic Honey Chickpea Kale Salad
Print Recipe
Crispy spiced chickpeas tossed in a slightly sweet garlic honey kale salad.
Servings Prep Time
4 side salads, 2 full 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 side salads, 2 full 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 15 oz can Chickpeas, rinsed, drained OR 1 and 2/3 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Paprika, smoked
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp Cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder Powder
Garlicy Honey Kale Salad
  • 6 cups Kale, fresh, chopped Stem removed
  • 1-2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice, or juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated This is when the jar type is awesome!
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp Honey (Maple if vegan)
Servings: side salads, 2 full
Instructions
  1. Clean and trim kale. Measure 6 cups of chopped kale. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Rinse and drain 1 can of chickpeas (1 and 2/3 cups). Toss the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, ground cinnamon, red chili powder, cumin, all spice, and garlic powder. Salt and pepper to taste*
  3. Bake on a very lightly greased baking sheet for about 50 minutes to an hour. Flip and check after 25 minutes.
  4. Toss the kale with 1 - 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, about 2 tbsp of lemon juice (or 1 lemon), 1/2 tbsp or more of honey (maple if vegan), and 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Let it sit and marinate in the kale as long as you can before serving. Great served chilled.
  5. Add the toasted chickpeas to the chilled kale salad. Serve immediately!
Recipe Notes

Calories 206 Fat 8g Protein 10.75g Carbohydrates 30.5g Fiber 10g

  • Serve with your favorite meat dish, like a roasted chicken or turkey. You can also use this as a healthy, surprisingly filling snack.
  • Stays well for 3 days maximum.
  • Kale salad dressing is approximate and light, double if you want a heavy dressing but remember if you let it sit before serving it will absorb well.
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Cilantro Chicken Pasta Salad

Leftovers are so crucial for me this summer! It’s been so hard for me to stay in the kitchen with everything going on lately, so I think all you busy bees out there will really appreciate this quick, modifiable pasta salad!

I baked my boneless chicken breast first (2 pounds for me as I wanted to cook it all), and decided to do the pulled version. Which I highly recommend by the way! To do this I added half apple cider vinegar and half vegetable broth  and seasoned it with lemon and pepper. My favorite way to cook my chicken is with the dutch oven, I set the oven to 400F for about 30-35 minutes, with not too much liquid either. Set aside 4 cups of pulled cooked chicken when you’re ready.

Next, start the pasta so you have time to cool the noodles before mixing.

I wanted a lot of leftovers so I went with 4 cups of dry pasta, as well as 4 cups of cooked pulled chicken. Once everything is chopped and cooled… the rest is history. Which is the way it should be!

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For a light pasta salad like what I did here, simply add 2 tablespoons each of mustard and plain greek yogurt (reduced fat is fine), 1/2 cup of chopped red onion, the juice of 2 small lemons or about 3 tablespoons, 1/3 cup of roughly chopped cilantro, and 1/2 of a small avocado.

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Once all the ingredients are combined and tossed I drizzled a bit of good extra virgin olive oil and fresh black pepper.

CilantroChixPasta4Chill it then, dig in because this one is made for plenty of plates!

Cilantro Chicken Pasta Salad
Print Recipe
Simple summer pasta salad with a touch of fresh cilantro, made easy with staple ingredients like whole wheat pasta, mustard and greek yogurt.
Servings
6 or more servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings
6 or more servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Cilantro Chicken Pasta Salad
Print Recipe
Simple summer pasta salad with a touch of fresh cilantro, made easy with staple ingredients like whole wheat pasta, mustard and greek yogurt.
Servings
6 or more servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings
6 or more servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Whole wheat pasta, dry, rotini or fusilli Any noodles work fine
  • 4 cups Chicken, cooked, pulled Roughly 1 lb
  • 1/2 cup Red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 whole Avocado, mashed or diced
  • 2 whole Lemons 3 tbsp of juice
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 tbsp Mustard, spicy brown
  • *Optional: Extra virgin olive oil and pepper 1 tbsp
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bake 1 lb of chicken in dutch oven or crock pot. Half vegetable broth + apple cider vinegar, just enough liquid to reach about half the thickness of the chicken. Make enough for 4 cups cooked, pulled chicken. 400F, dutch oven for about 30-35 minutes.
  2. Cook 4 cups of pasta (measured dry.) Set aside to cool.
  3. Chop 1/2 cup red onion, roughly chop 1/3 cup of cilantro, half of an avocado, 2 tbsp each of mustard and greek yogurt (plain), and juice of 2 lemons or ~3 tbsp.
  4. Toss and combine all ingredients. Add extra virgin olive oil and pepper if you desire. Chill before serving.
Recipe Notes

Calories 317 Fat 5g Protein 24.6g Carbohydrates 43g Fiber 6g

Nutrition information does not include extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top

  • To make vegan: remove the greek yogurt and chicken of course, add extra lemon juice (2 tbsp), and replace protein with slivered almonds or black beans.
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Quinoa Encrusted Chicken Tenders

So I’m not sure if I’m the best at judging chicken tenders in their original fried form, but these crispy, minimal chicken tenders are all I ever want in my chopped salad this week. It adds a toasted and crumbly texture I never get in salads.

For most of us, we understand that fried chicken tenders are clearly not the healthiest option for ourselves or our kids. Bringing home chicken tenders on a busy day is one thing that we all have done at least once in our life though. This recipe however will have you loving on making a healthy fried chicken substitute, I promise!

You start with either leftover cooked quinoa, or cook it according to the package directions before you get going (typically something like 2 cups of water:1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until granule spiyralizes, soak up all water, and fluff!) If you have plenty of this you can make a HUGE batch of these chicken tenders, you may need to quadruple this recipe!

Add the 1 of a cup of cooked quinoa to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 300 for about 25 minutes. While this is getting toasty, coat your chicken with the mustard, lemon, and thyme. I didn’t need too much of a binder, but if you’re feeling weary… add an egg if you’d like!

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The quinoa should look toasted and a little golden..

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Allow the quinoa to cool, then add to the chicken mix. Toss and coat.

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Decrease the temperature of the oven to 420 degrees fahrenheit.

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Once you have the chicken all coated remove the parchment paper any you can spray olive oil on the baking sheet.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be pretty and golden!

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Perfect for kids and adults of all ages!

Quinoa Crusted Chicken Tenders
Print Recipe
Crispy quinoa encrusted chicken tenders with a dash of lemon and thyme, perfect for all entrees or any picky eaters!
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Quinoa Crusted Chicken Tenders
Print Recipe
Crispy quinoa encrusted chicken tenders with a dash of lemon and thyme, perfect for all entrees or any picky eaters!
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Quinoa, cooked
  • 1 lb Chicken, cut into tenders
  • 3 tbsp Spicy brown mustard, whole grain
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice Or juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp Thyme Fresh or dried
  • Salt and Pepper to
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa to parchment lined baking sheet. Toast for a total of about 25 minutes. Use convection if you can; may need to toss in the middle for even toasting.
  2. Cut chicken thin, trim off excess fat. In a large bowl: toss in 3 tbsp mustard, lemon juice, and thyme. Pepper and salt is optional.
  3. Increase oven to 420 degrees fahrenheit.
  4. Add toasted quinoa to large bowl with chicken. Toss to coat.
  5. Remove parchment paper, spray pan with olive oil. Add chicken tenders to baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Calories 184 Fat 4g Protein 26g Carbohydrates 10g (1/4th of recipe) Fiber 1g

Nutrition information is for 4 oz servings

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Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread {Vegan}

I love burgers and I love grilled vegetables. I’m trying to figure out why I haven’t actually put them together before?? Needles to say, after this impromptu meal I will definitely be repeating this idea for work week lunches.

I didn’t want to spend more than a few minutes in the kitchen this weekend with trying to spend time with my roommate, and best friend, moving out on Sunday! We succeeded in guzzling down an oversized (maybe 32 ounces?!) pineapple rum cocktail the evening before. I was picturing vegetables screaming my name at this point!

So, for my kitchen the go to vegetable besides leafy greens is usually squash. Zucchini squash and other varieties are a pretty huge staple in the summer months around here. They don’t always have to be zoodled! I don’t do that so much, grilling and roasting is just my all time fav.

After you slice the squash up the hard work is over. I went to town with all the lemon and thyme I had. Just sprinkle with light sea salt and pepper and place on a lightly oiled pan if you’re using an oven.  I know most of you will be grilling these up, so just cut it thicker..

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While the vegetables are cooking, the spread can be whipped up in 2 minutes. Well, mashed up that is. Chop up the fresh cilantro and add to a small bowl of mashed black beans.

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It won’t need to be super smooth unless you really want it too. The flavor and texture is all you really need. Although, cilantro black bean dip is amazing… use a potato masher here and you’re done!

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Very little assembly required. If you tend to enjoy chicken on sandwiches, this would be a great time to use left-overs or grilled chicken from the weekend.

I did … and I still ended up eating this in less than 20 minutes!

Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread
Print Recipe
A seasonal fresh sandwich filled with vegetables and herbs! Roasted squash seasoned with lemon and thyme, and a simple cilantro black bean spread.
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread
Print Recipe
A seasonal fresh sandwich filled with vegetables and herbs! Roasted squash seasoned with lemon and thyme, and a simple cilantro black bean spread.
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 slices Whole wheat bread I used Eureka, Grainiac bread
  • 2 medium Squashes, summer and Zucchini
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin Or canola, depends on cooking device
  • 1 tbsp Thyme, fresh Dried thyme= about 1/2 tbsp
  • 1/2 whole Lemon 2-3 slices, remaining juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Black beans, mashed
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, fresh
  • 3 oz Chicken (Optional)
Servings: Sandwich
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425, or start up grill. Slice squash evenly and spray pan with light oil. Sprinkle squash with fresh (or dried) thyme. Slice 2-3 thin lemon slices in the mix for garnish (optional). Squeeze remaining lemon on top. Top with pepper and salt.
  2. Bake for nearly 15 minutes, or grill for 5-7 minutes. Toast bread to liking.
  3. While squash is cooking mash black beans with a potato masher. (Make sure to drain and rinse canned beans.) Add in chopped cilantro.
  4. Once bread is toasted and squash is ready, assemble and spread!
Recipe Notes
  • You may slice zucchini any thickness you'd like. I prefer a 1/4 of an inch for a sandwich, thicker is nice if you're not adding meat but too thin and it will not hold it's structure!
  • If you're using dried herbs, these especially should be reduced. I recommend about 1/2 of what the recipe calls for.
  • For Vegan Sandwich can be made with or without chicken.
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