Thursday, January 31, 2019

Toasted Coconut and Walnut Energy Bites

My clients LOVE energy bites and for good reason - they are the perfect grab-and-go snack and there are so many different flavor combinations to choose from. The coconut and walnuts in these bites add a good amount of healthy fat and the dates add fiber to help keep you full. I also like having a few of these for breakfast with coffee or tea.



1. Preheat oven to 375. Place walnuts and coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until fragrant. Allow to cool slightly.


2. Meanwhile, place the dates in a bowl and cover with warm water. Soak for 10 minutes, then drain.


3. Place walnuts, coconut, dates, vanilla and salt in a food processor and process until a thick dough forms.


4. Roll the mixture into 16 bites. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.



Toasted Coconut and Walnut Energy Bites
Makes 16 bites

All you need:
1 cup walnut halves
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 (12 oz.) package pitted medjool dates
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Place walnuts and coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until fragrant. Allow to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, place the dates in a bowl and cover with warm water. Soak for 10 minutes, then drain.
3. Place walnuts, coconut, dates, vanilla and salt in a food processor and process until a thick dough forms.
4. Roll the mixture into 16 bites. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Chicken Sausage Pesto Pasta with Roasted Italian Veggies


My veggie love continues this week with this amazing pasta dish (half of the veggies are hidden in the pesto!). The crispy chicken sausage adds a good dose of lean protein and amazing flavor, but if you want to keep this dish vegetarian, simply omit it or swap in some white beans or chickpeas. 



1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

3. Place cherry tomatoes and zucchini on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with Parmesan, Italian seasoning and salt and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes.



4. Place pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.


5. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken sausage and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, stirring often.


5. Add pesto, reserved pasta water and chicken sausage to the cooked pasta and stir gently to combine.


6. Scoop pasta into serving bowls and top with roasted veggies. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of Parmesan.



Chicken Sausage Pesto Pasta with Roasted Italian Veggies
Serves 6

All you need:
1 pound rigatoni

Roasted Veggies
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 zucchinis, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pesto
3 large handfuls baby spinach
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (12 oz.) package sweet Italian chicken sausage (I like Al Fresco brand), sliced

Fresh lemon juice and Parmesan cheese, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
3. Place cherry tomatoes and zucchini on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with Parmesan, Italian seasoning and salt and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes.
4. Place pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
5. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken sausage and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
5. Add pesto, reserved pasta water and chicken sausage to the cooked pasta and stir gently to combine.
6. Scoop pasta into serving bowls and top with roasted veggies. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of Parmesan.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Cocoa and Red Wine Chili


With frigid temperatures on the horizon this week, I figured a big pot of chili is exactly what we needed. The red wine and cocoa powder add a wonderful rich flavor to this dish. I topped mine with  super sharp white cheddar (cheese, chocolate and wine - what could be better?) but I also like it topped with sliced avocado. Served for lunch or dinner, this chili is a meal in itself but would also be great with crusty bread or cornbread muffins on the side for dipping.




1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and bell pepper and cook until lightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, about 6 minutes longer.




2. Add red wine and cook until the wine has evaporated by half. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, cocoa powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin, maple syrup, salt, crushed red pepper and black pepper and stir to combine. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.


3. Finish the chili with black beans. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheddar.







Cocoa and Red Wine Chili
Serves 6

All you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 pound ground beef
1 cup red wine
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

Sharp cheddar, for garnish

All you do:
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and bell pepper and cook until lightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, about 6 minutes longer.
2. Add red wine and cook until the wine has evaporated by half. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, cocoa powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin, maple syrup, salt, crushed red pepper and black pepper and stir to combine. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Finish the chili with black beans. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheddar.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Brown Rice and Veggie Stir-Fry with Ginger Orange Sauce

I've been trying hard to up the veggie intake in our house lately (even the dogs are loving them - it's so funny to watch them beg for carrots and sweet potatoes!). This stir-fry was something I developed as a lunch option since it's super easy to separate into individual portions. 

And you can play around with the veggies you use - if you're not a fan of mushrooms or Brussels sprouts, simply increase the amount of broccoli and carrots. And if you don't like walnuts, sub in some sliced toasted almonds. 




1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, carrots and garbanzo beans and cook until lightly softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often.


2. Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Add sauce to the veggies and stir to combine. Add brown rice, walnuts and green onion and stir again.



4. Scoop the stir-fry into serving bowls and serve. (Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.)



Brown Rice and Veggie Stir-Fry with Ginger Orange Sauce
Serves 8

All you need:
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
8 shittake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

Sauce
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
Zest and juice of 2 tangelos (or navel oranges)
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
4 green onions, trimmed and sliced

All you do:
1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, carrots and garbanzo beans and cook until lightly softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
2. Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Add sauce to the veggies and stir to combine. Add brown rice, walnuts and green onion and stir again.
4. Scoop the stir-fry into serving bowls and serve. (Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.)






Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Greek Stuffed Peppers


With healthy meal prep season in full swing, these stuffed peppers are the perfect prep ahead meal. They are so incredibly full of flavor and provide a number of different textures as well, leaving you full and satisfied. These peppers are basically a whole meal since they provide protein, veggies and grains, but a side of fresh-cut fruit would be a great sweet treat to serve alongside.



1. Preheat oven to 400. Place pepper halves in a 13x9 baking dish.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add spices, garbanzo beans, parsley, rice, tomato sauce and sundried tomatoes and stir to combine.




3. Scoop the turkey mixture evenly into each pepper half. Top with feta cheese. Pour chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 35 minutes.


4. Once out of the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the peppers and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Let the peppers sit for 5 minutes before serving.




Greek Stuffed Peppers
Serves 6

All you need:
1 green pepper, 1 orange pepper and 1 yellow pepper - each sliced in 1/2 lengthwise and tops, seeds and membranes removed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup cooked rice (or quinoa)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) jar sundried tomatoes packed in oil
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400. Place pepper halves in a 13x9 baking dish.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add spices, garbanzo beans, parsley, rice, tomato sauce and sundried tomatoes and stir to combine.
3. Scoop the turkey mixture evenly into each pepper half. Top with feta cheese. Pour chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
4. Once out of the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the peppers and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Let the peppers sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Cracker Crusted Salmon with Dill Pickle Aioli

This is a 15 minute meal that is pretty enough for entertaining. I've always been a fan of anything pickled, and this pickle aioli is one of my favorite sauces yet. It adds a perfect punch of flavor on top of the crispy, buttery salmon. Serve this with salad, baked fries or mashed potatoes.



1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place milk and beaten eggs in a bowl. Place crushed crackers on a plate. Soak each salmon filet in the milk/egg mixture, then coat with cracker crumbs. Place on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.




3. Meanwhile, combine the aioli ingredients in a small bowl.


4. Transfer salmon to serving plates and top with aioli.



Cracker Crusted Salmon with Dill Pickle Aioli
Serves 4

All you need:
1 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 sleeve buttery round crackers (like Ritz), crushed
4 (6-8 oz.) wild-caught salmon filets, skin removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Aioli
3/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place milk and beaten eggs in a bowl. Place crushed crackers on a plate. Soak each salmon filet in the milk/egg mixture, then coat with cracker crumbs. Place on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
3. Meanwhile, combine the aioli ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Transfer salmon to serving plates and top with aioli.