Are carbs scary? Why do people think this? I love carbs – always have always will! Did you know carbs are important to the basic functionality of our bodies and burning energy? I get it, there will always be something negative to say about pasta, bread, etc. but I am here to help you learn to love the beauty that carbs are! Variations of pasta come from so many different cultures and they are all so damn tasty! Today I am highlighting the innovation that is plant-based protein pasta! So many brands are getting on the band wagon of protein pasta and I am here for it!
I am using Barilla Protein + Penne – 100% plant based protein with a classic pasta taste, but any pasta (protein or not) will work PERFECTLY for this easy summer pasta salad. Growing up pasta salad to me was loaded with mayonnaise and that just wasn’t really my favorite thing. Mayonnaise covered cold pasta? ew! This pasta salad is seasonally focused, fresh and freaking delicious!
Tomatoes are at the peak of season and are so dang juicy!! These cherry tomatoes are great for this but honestly whatever tomatoes you have will taste great! Kirby cucumbers (or any cucumber) sliced thin and then the fresh mozzarella! I am blessed that my neighborhood is packed with small localized stores aka really good Italian Markets that have fresh mozzarella! I love that more markets are prioritizing fresh products and finding mozzarella is so much easier! I think this dish really comes together with this balsamic based marinade! Combine balsamic vinegar with rice wine vinegar, pinch of dried oregano and red pepper flakes. The flavor profile is tangy, savory, spicy and just too good to pass up! Combine all ingredients with marinade and let sit while you make the pasta!
Cook the pasta based on the boxed directions, drain and let cool slightly. Toss in with the vegetables and marinade and toss until well combined. The beauty of pasta salad is it’s the perfect dish to make ahead and store in the refrigerator. The marinade has time to work its magic and soak into the pasta and vegetables for an even better end product! I always add the fresh herbs at the end because I enjoy the final touches and really adds that final kick of flavor! I finished this meal with fresh basil & sliced avocado. You can eat this for a delicious snack, add grilled chicken or shrimp for a balanced dinner or eat for breakfast because there are seriously no boundaries with any food.
Pasta salad is EASY and can be so so tasty! If you’re looking to add an extra punch of protein, the new-ish plant based protein pasta’s are a great way to get extra protein in while enjoying a classic dish!
Trying to find delicious and refreshing alternatives to alcohol can be hard, especially in the summer when all you want to do is have a cocktail in the sunshine! Whether you’re on a fitness journey, trying to consume things in moderation or simply don’t like the taste of alcohol – this is the drink for you! Its flavorful, fun and uses delicious summer cherries. Grab the four ingredients and your muddler and lets make the tastiest cocktail all summer long!
1/4 cup fresh mint 3 limes Ginger Beer 5 red cherries
Slice limes and juice them into a cup. Pit the cherries and slice in half. Add the cherries and mint to the cup with lime juice. Muddle them together until the cherries have broken down a little and released some of their juices. Place ice in glass and pour in lime, mint and cherries. Top with ginger beer and garnish with additional lime slice. Enjoy!
*If you do not want to add the cherries you can substitute with pomegranate, orange, other seasonal fruit or omit completely!
It’s Memorial Day Weekend and I am finding other ways to enjoyed “grilled” corn off the cob and tossed with chili lime seasoning. This is grilled corn meets mexican street corn all in a summer salad and WOW, it is tasty! There is nothing fancy about this dish but I will tell you it’s seasonal, delicious and comes together quick. You can enjoy this on a salad, like I did or as a tasty side dish with fish, chicken or beef. Ok, let’s get to the good stuff! Again, this isn’t fancy but I loveeeeee adding fun touches to any dish I make.
1 ear of corn 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning
Lettuce of choice (I used baby romaine and spring mix) Tomato Beets Grapes Cucumber Homemade Crispy Chicken Nuggets (recipe coming soon!) Dressing of choice
Start by cutting your corn off the cob – lay down on a cutting board and cut on the right hand side. Now use the flat portion as your guide and cut the remaining sides off. Add to a pan over medium low heat with some olive oil spray already in the pan. Add the Chili Lime Seasoning and toss until coated and corn is warm – about 2-3 minutes. Make sure you don’t let it burn!
Prepare your salad by adding the dressing to the bottom of the bowl. Then add your greens and toss to coat so all the lettuce has dressing on it. Top the salad with all of your toppings adding the warmed chili lime corn at the end. Enjoy!
This recipe just came about as I was making myself lunch this week. I have been really trying to get those veggies in and went the zucchini noodle route (easy, quick and tasty). I knew I needed to kick it up a notch with a tasty sauce. I harvested a lot of basil from my window garden and was quickly thinking PESTO! As it was coming together, I wasn’t impressed. I wasn’t making a lot since it was for one meal and knew it needed a little something special. I found two secret ingredients that really rounded this sauce out and made it perfect!
handful of fresh basil
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 jalapeno (seeded if you want it to be more mild)
2 zucchini, spiralized
6-7 shrimp (optional but delicious)
I used my Ninja Blender for this, but a food processor would work great too! I have the individual cups that have an attachment that goes right on the blender base (easiest clean up ever!)
Anyway, add your basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, avocado and jalapeno to the blender. Blend on high for 1 minute or until contents is very very smooth.
Spiralize your zucchini and set aside. Cook your shrimp in a separate pan until golden on both sides and cooked through.
Heat your pan over medium-low heat and add some avocado cooking spray. Add two spoonful’s of the spicy avocado pesto to your sauce pan. Add the zucchini noodles and toss to coat. Once full incorporated, add another spoonful of pesto to the sauce pan. Add your shrimp and mix until coated. Remove from heat after 2-3 minutes of cooking, until the zucchini noodles are softened.
This is a trendy and I LOVE IT! This is seriously the best fuel after a hard workout because it’s full of carbohydrates from the fruit, flavor from the mint and the coconut water is spot on! I made a big bowl full of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and it’s delicious! Have you made this trendy breakfast/snack/lunch/any-time meal? Try it!
1/2 cup sliced strawberries 1/2 cup blueberries (I like mine frozen) 1/2 cup raspberries 1 – 1/2 cups coconut water (or when your bowl is full) Fresh mint for garnish
Slice up your strawberries and rinse off your blueberries and raspberries. Place in your bowl of choice and fill with coconut water. Add fresh mint on top and enjoy and delicious and healthy post-work out meal!
I loveeeee chicken salad. like LOVE! I am huge huge fan of fruit in my chicken salad; apples, grapes even pineapple. My mother makes it by the batch and it’s all I eat when I am home. It’s perfect on a croissant, toasted wheat bread or a bagel. I even just take it fork to mouth – it’s that good. I have really been focusing on my nutrition and counting macros so I wanted to update her recipe as close as possible to stay in compliance with my macro counting. Substituting that mayo for something equally as tasty and packed with protein was key! Can’t wait to share this with you!
1 cup Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
1/2 cup fat-free Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup grapes (I used red and green)
1/4 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon red onion
1 tablespoon Tarragon
Salt & Pepper
First you want to shred your Rotisserie Chicken. After purchasing from the store, I always like to do this when it’s hot – so much easier to pull everything apart and shred the chicken with your fingers. Measure out the Rotisserie Chicken and add to a bowl. Measure out the Greek Yogurt and add the lemon juice. Mix the Greek Yogurt and lemon juice together then add it to the bowl with the Rotisserie Chicken. Slice your grapes, celery and red onion and add it to the bowl. Add a pinch of salt & pepper and then mix everything together. The lemon juice helps to develop that creamy flavor that we are used too with the traditional mayonnaise used, so give it a little taste and add more lemon juice if desired. Add Tarragon and mix together. I recommend doubling this if you want to enjoy it for a few days! Store in a airtight container in the fridge for up to three days!
This is a great source of protein from the chicken and Greek yogurt – the grapes add some healthy carbs and the entire recipe is minimal in fat! I love to enjoy this after a workout so I can add extra carbs (english muffin, rice cake, croissant). But I promise I will be eating this alone and the entire bowl will be gone very soon!!!
Is it tomato soup and grilled cheese or grilled cheese and tomato soup? I think we can all agree that the grilled cheese is what we want but when paired with a delicious tomato soup, its a combination unlike any other. I am certainly in the market for one pan, limited mess dishes – although no matter how hard I try, my kitchen is always a mess after I cook. This Roasted Tomato Soup is seriously foul proof and so delicious. I made this version dairy free with a secret ingredient and it does not disappoint! And then we can’t forget about the delicious grilled cheese – the end all be all sandwich soup combination.
2lb Tomato’s – cherry, campari & roma
1 onion, diced in big chunks
1 head of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper
1 can Lite Coconut Milk
Add the tomato, onion, olive oil, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to a deep dish and place in 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Take garlic and place in the center of aluminum foil and wrap tightly – the garlic will get really soft. Remove from the oven and take in all the delicious smells! Remove the basil from the pot. Place all ingredients into a blender or use an immersion blender. Add additional basil to the blender and blend. Transfer back to the pot and add one can of Lite Coconut Milk. You can def use the regular Coconut Milk, but the lite is a little more guilt free. *You can use heavy cream as a dairy option* Season with a little more salt and pepper and add red pepper flakes if you like a little heat. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!
Grilled cheese – take two slices of sourdough bread and butter one side of each slice. Place butter side down on a medium heat skillet – place cheddar cheese on top and then add additional slice of bread on top. Let cook for 3-4 minutes until the butter is golden and the cheese starts to melt. Flip the sandwich and let the other side get golden brown. Remove from heat when the cheese is melted. Slice, dip in the soup and ENJOY!
I had leftover cauliflower florets from my Cauliflower Parmesan and was trying to think of what to do with them! Combined with mushrooms, I tossed them in olive oil and roasted them in the oven and then the magic happened. This dish is tangy, sticky, delicious and EASY! Completely vegetarian but would be delicious with chicken added. This sauce is my go-to and I swear I use it on so many different recipes. It can be tweaked based on what you have available but it’s pretty basic and totally delicious. I will give you all the secrets below!
Sauce: 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce) 1 tbsp Honey 1 tbsp Sriracha Pinch Red Pepper Flakes Pinch Sesame Seeds Other ingredients: 2 cups cauliflower florets 1 cup sliced mushrooms Pad Thai Noodles Lime Juice Sliced Green Onion Green Onion/Lime garnish
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and toss the cauliflower and mushrooms in olive oil and roast for 25-30 minutes until crispy. Remove from the oven.
Start a pot of boiling water for your pad thai noodles. Cook your noodles according to the package directions. While the noodles are cooking, mix your ingredients for your sauce. Add all the ingredients to a bowl or a jar and shake or mix together until combined.
Heat sesame oil or olive oil in shallow pan and turn stove to medium heat. Once warm, add the cauliflower and mushrooms. Now add your sauce and stir until the vegetables are coated and the sauce starts to bubble. This sauce will reduce and get a bit sticky (but that’s the best part). Once your noodles are done cooking, save some of the pasta water (this will come in handy later) and transfer the noodles to the pot with the cauliflower, mushrooms and sauce. Stir until combined and the sauce has coated the noodles. Gradually add about 1/4 cup of pasta water to the noodles. This will help the sauce to become a little creamy which makes it so so delicious!
Finish the dish with a splash of lime juice and sliced green onion and mix until combined.
Plate your dish and top with sesame seeds, green onion & lime juice. Enjoy!
ok – whoever doesn’t love the classic Chicken Parmesan, well, I am not sure we can be friends. This is the classics really cool, plant-forward bff! This Cauliflower Parmesan is the real deal! Starts with that delicious breaded crust that gets super crispy topped with store-bought marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese! I think I used a total of 7 ingredients for this entire dish – how easy!
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 jarred red sauce (I used Rao’s Arrabbiata – little spicy!)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
Choice of pasta, rice or salad for your side dish
Start by removing the excess from the stem of your cauliflower head. You will want to cut two cauliflower steaks but want to ensure that part of the core/stem remains as this will help to hold it together. You will have about two cups of cauliflower florets remaining but these are perfect to roast for a winter salad or turn them into a the wonders that buffalo cauliflower tacos are!
Once you have two cauliflower steaks you will prepare two dishes one with a beaten egg and the other with bread crumbs. Dip the cauliflower steak in the egg wash and coat both sides. Transfer to the bread crumb bowl and cover completely. Repeat these steps for your other cauliflower steak.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare a cast iron skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Place the cauliflower in the skillet and cook for 4-6 minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Place in the oven for 10 minutes to continue the cooking process.
Remove from the oven and place red sauce on top of each cauliflower steak. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes to continue the cooking process.
If you are going to make pasta or rice I recommend boiling a pot of salted water and start to cook your pasta. When you pasta has about 8 minutes left, remove the cauliflower and add shredded mozzarella cheese to the top. Place back in the oven and cook until you pasta is ready, about 8 minutes.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven. Plate your pasta and add cauliflower steak on top. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!
It’s New Years Eve!!! Wow, cannot believe 2020 is coming to an end. THANK GOODNESS! Even though this year was a whole lot extra, I can’t say it didn’t have its bright moments. I became an aunt to TWO of the sweetest little boys, I challenged myself both professionally and personally and cooked a whole lot of delicious food (thanks to my new work from home gig). If you are looking for a last minute easy and TASTY cocktail to ring in the New Year, you should make this Blood Orange Bourbon Fizz! It’s sweet and tangy and simply delicious! Only a few ingredients, some tasty bourbon, a shaker and your one step closer to this perfect cocktail!
3 oz Bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
2 blood oranges, juiced
Handful of blueberries
6 oz Champagne
Add blood orange juice to a shaker with blueberries and a handful of ice. Add 1 oz of Bourbon to the shaker with a splash of bitters (like 3-4 shakes). Shake Shake Shake for 30-60 seconds! Shaking helps to melt a little bit of the ice which helps bring this entire drink together. Add 1 oz of Bourbon to each of your classes with two ice cubes each. Strain blood orange mixture evenly between the two glasses. Top with Champagne and garnish with a slice of blood orange, a few blueberries and a blood orange twist (take a peeler and peel some of the blood orange skin, twist and add to your glass).
Now drink and repeat a few times while you ring in the New Year!
Who is interested in lighter recipes to ring in the New Year? I am all for comfort food and the beauty of this dish is its light & comforting! Perfect to add to your menu rotation now or in the New Year. Can we just talk about the New Year! I am glad that we can keep 2020 in the past but it’s so bittersweet to say bye to a year full of just so much. I know that everyone’s experiences have been different. All of our minds have been tested; emotionally, mentally, physically. Just remember to hug the ones you love most and don’t forget to take care of YOU! I hope each of you tackles something magical in 2021 that fills up your cup. Personally, I cannot wait to get back to running.
Now for this Lemony Tomato Chicken that will surely have you wondering why you never made it before! Let’s break it down!
3-4 boneless chicken thighs, cleaned
1/2 cup gluten free flour/regular flour
1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tsp garlic
1 cup white wine
2 lemons, juiced
sage, for garnish
Clean your chicken thighs and remove any excess fat. Lightly coat your chicken thighs with flour on both sides. Heat a medium sized skillet (I used my cast iron 10 inch pan) over medium heat and add olive oil. Place chicken thighs in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until the crust becomes golden. Remove chicken from the pan and add a splash more olive oil. Add the cherry tomatoes and mix around until they are fully coated. Keep heat on medium and cook the tomatoes for 3-4 minutes until they start to blister and pop. Add the garlic and stir continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the wine and mix together. Apply pressure to the tomatoes to help the burst process (this will also help add flavor to the sauce). Add lemon juice and let simmer for 2 minutes. Place chicken back in the pan and let simmer for 4 minutes. Flip chicken and let simmer for 3 more minutes. The sauce will reduce by half and turn into a creamy thick sauce that coats the chicken. Plate the chicken and add more sauce and tomatoes on top. Garnish with chopped sage and enjoy!