Avocado and Sweet Potato Hash

Meet my new addiction: Warm and crispy sweet potatoes tossed with cool and creamy avocado. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert!

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in onion and garlic. Cut sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and place them into the skillet. Fry for about 5-7 minutes, flipping potatoes a couple of times. Cook until potato is browned and slightly crispy. Immediately add into chopped avocado and gently fold together. Garnish with parsley.

Spanish Quinoa Bowl

After making my cilantro tabbouleh, I had enough quiona to make another dish. While rummaging through the fridge, I found some mini peppers and decided to create a spanish style quinoa bowl. I did make a mental note to make my smoked almonds next time rather than using just raw almonds. The smoky flavor of my roasted almonds would be perfect for this!

Spanish Quinoa 

  • 1 cup quiona, cooked

  • 1 cup assorted bell peppers, chopped

  • 1/2 cup celery stalk and leaves, chopped

  • 1/2 cup black and greens olives, chopped

  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Chopped almonds for garnish

Place oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic into a mixing bowl. Whisk. Add in quinoa and remaining ingredients except almonds. Stir, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 min. Serve with almonds scattered on top.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

We made these peanut butter balls after having something similar given to us by some friends. You can vary the size depending on how hungry your partakers usually are. My crew seems to be bottomless pits, so we make our balls a bit bigger. I treated my Pilates ballerinas to these after my 4 days with them. They worked hard and deserved a reward, and it was the perfect fuel for them as they faced another 3 hours of dance after my class. 

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

  • 1 1/4 cup of all natural peanut butter

  • 2 Teaspoons of honey

  • 1/3 a cup of oats (gluten-free if necessary)  

  • 1/3 a cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 1/3 a cup of ground flax

  • Chopped nuts, oats, coconut flakes, or raw quinoa 

Place peanut butter, honey, oats, coconut, and flax into a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Using your hands, roll dough into balls. Roll balls into the garnish of choice. These are pictured here with a mix of chopped peanuts and oats, but we’ve also used raw quinoa too. Be creative- even some orgainc cocoa powder with a dash of cinnamon would be delicious! Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Cilantro Tabbouleh with Quinoa

After visiting a local Mediterranean restaurant with some friends the other night, I’ve had tabbouleh on the brain! I created this version knowing that I wanted to replace the standard bulgur wheat with quinoa to make it protein-rich. And I love cilantro so it was a fun twist to the traditional parsley and mint. My kids enjoyed it, but thought that I made it too lemony (which is my favorite part!) so you can use less if you prefer. You can also play around with various toppings too – like black olives, avocado slices, organic corn, or fresh tomatoes.
tabboulehCilantro Tabbouleh with Quinoa

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

  • 1 cup packed fresh, chopped cilantro

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup red wine vnegar

  • 2 teaspoons organic soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • Ground pepper

Whisk oil, vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add in quinoa and onion and stir. Fold in the cilantro. Cover and chill for a least 30 min. Makes 4 servings.

You may also like:

Fajita Quinoa

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Lox and Schmear

   This version of “lox and schmear” has turned out to be one of my kids’ favorite snacks. Whenever I grill up salmon, I always make sure to have leftovers for two reasons: #1 – Because I’ll eat more the next day and #2 – It will become a super simple and healthy afternoon snack for my kids. The “recipe” is as follows:

  • I use Real Foods Organic Corn Thins as the base instead of a bagel so it’s not an overload of carbs.

  • We spread on a layer of organic cream cheese (I use reduced fat).

  • We top each one with large flakes of grilled salmon.

    Now that summer is here, this will actually become a lunch for them especially once it is accompanied by fresh fruits and veggies- the best way to get the RIGHT carbs!

Other easy snacks/lunches you may like:

Roasted and Seasoned Crunchy Chickpeas

 

Roasted and Seasoned Crunchy Chickpeas 

I have been adding these to my salads or just grabbing a small handful for a light snack. I LOVE the crunchiness of them, and you can take the liberty of seasoning them in some many ways. I’m hoping to try them with my Mexican spices and Indian spices next. You can adjust the amount of chickpeas depending on how much flavor you want them to have.

Chex Mix Spiced Chickpeas

  • 2-3 cups cooked chickpeas

  • 1 1/2 t seasoned salt

  • 1/2 t garlic powder

  • 1/2 t onion powder

  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 t olive oil

Once cooked, drain and pat the chick peas until they are dry. (This is a very important step in order to get them crunchy.) Line a cookie sheet with foil. (fold up sides of foil if you are not using a flat/no side pan so those guys don’t roll off!). Mix seasonings, worcestershire sauce and oil in a mixing bowl. Place chickpeas into the bowl and stir until well coated. Pour them onto cookie sheet and bake 45 min in a 400 degree oven. Flip them about have way through. Allow to cool completely once they are done. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Italian Chickpeas

  • 2-3 cups chickpeas

  • 1 t dried basil

  • 1 t dried oregano

  • 1 t dried parsley

  • 1 t nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 t garlic powder

  • 1/4 t onion powder

  • S & P to taste

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Follow the same baking directions above.

Our “NYC Rooftop” Garden

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The other day while we were at Lowe’s, Joel decided he wanted to plant watermelon and cantaloupe seeds. While it is a little late to be planting, how could I say no to him? He was desiring to do that which I love which goes hand-in-hand with my passion for fresh, whole foods. So off to the fabric store we went to get burlap for our milk crate garden boxes.

The milk crate garden was an idea I stole from a NYC restaurant that utilizes their rooftop for a garden. Here we are constructing the garden boxes and planting the seeds. He was so patient as we cut, filled, planted, and watered. We even played “name that decomposing food” as we scooped out compost from our bin. (We have about 5 baby avocado trees thanks to our compost pile!)

Here is how we make each crate:

  • Line with burlap (I use 1 1/2 yards)

  • Tie burlap to the crate with string 

  • Place organic soil one third of the way up

  • Place in compost for the next layer

  • Fill to near the top with more organic soil

  • Plant seeds according to package directions 

The burlap helps hold in the soil and then naturally breaks apart towards the end of the growing season (notice the bright green crate…the burlap has disintegrated along the sides, but since my sweet potato vine has grown over into it, I have left it alone). I use the remaining burlap to line the very bottom of the next batch of milk crates before placing the new burlap in and draping it over the sides. I set the crates on brick to keep them off the ground and the bugs out as much as possible.

My garden isn’t grand, but I love my little garden. I haven’t bought tomatoes in 3 months, and I’m looking forward to harvesting my sweet potatoes and even possibly some melons :)

Egg and Cauliflower Frittata

I often make frittatas when I haven’t been to the store in several days. I almost always have eggs on hand and can reach into the freezer for extra fillings. I whipped this one together not too long ago, and I’ve made it a couple of more times since. The cottage cheese acts a bit like milk to give it richness, while adding extra protein. And then the finally chopped cauliflower discreetly hides in the midst of the yellowish eggs. The scattering of cheese and sprinkling of the nutritional yeast gives it that saltiness that it needs.

Egg and Cauliflower Frittata

  • 10 eggs

  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (I use Daisy or Friendship brands)

  • 1 cup steamed cauliflower, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup nitrite-free breakfast sausage, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup Shredded cheese (do it yourself- it’s cheaper and healthier!)

  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 375. Beat eggs, cottage cheese, cauliflower, sausage, garlic, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl until a bit frothy. Pour into an oiled 9″ cast iron skillet or 8×8 pan. Bake for 20 minutes, top with cheese and nutritional yeast and bake another 15 minutes or until center is set. (And then broil for 3-4 minutes if you want the cheese extra browned.) Pull out of oven and allow to rest about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with avocado, salsa, greek yogurt, or any other garnish you prefer.

Other Egg Dishes:

Boiled Egg Casserole

Egg Salad

Cobb Salad ~ Cinco de Mayo Style

  One week from today, we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo! They say you eat with your eyes first. Perhaps that’s why cobb salads are so delicious and popular. The rows of color and texture are definitely appealing to the eyes. And since Mexican food is always bursting with color, why not recreate the cobb salad and give it a fiesta flare?! I got rave reviews from the husband, the husband’s friend, and all three kids on this one.

Mexican Cobb Salad

  • 1 Head of Romaine

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1-2 tablespoons mexican spices

  • 1/2 cup black beans (boil your own cheaper, easy, and leftovers are stored in the freezer!)

  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup cojita cheese

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • Lime Vinaigrette

Place the cooked, shredded chicken into a sauce pan and add the water and Mexican seasoning. Simmer on low for 5 min. Place washed and chopped romaine into a large serving bowl. Arrange the toppings in rows to create a varying array of colors. Serve with lime vinaigrette on the side.

Love Mexican too? Then try:

Steak Fajitas

Guac on the Cob

Fajita Quinoa

“Cheesy” Kale Chips

If you are unfamiliar with nutritional yeast, it’s a powder or flake – yellowish in color- that is grown from beets and then dehydrated. Despite the word ‘yeast’, it contains no gluten, but is high in protein (18 amino acids) and B-12 (just 2 teaspoons gives you your RDA). The nutty/cheesy flavor lends itself to the perfect topping for a salad, pasta, popcorn, potatoes, or just about anything! I love it on my kale chips, eggs, and on my sauteed or roasted veggies. You can find it at your local health food store.

 
 Kale Chips

  • 4-5 large kale leaves

  • Olive oil

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • Pepper

  • Nutritional Yeast

Wash and pat dry leaves. Tear kale into 2-3″ pieces and lay on a baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasonings. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 min. Turn off oven and keep the kale in for another 10 min. Remove from oven and enjoy. If you do not finish all the kale chips, they can be crisped back up simply by placing them in a warm oven for about 3-4 min.

And then there’s always Chocolate Kale Chips!

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