Sweet Potato Black Bean Zucchini Stuffed Bell Peppers

The inspiration of this recipe was combining everything in my fridge that was about to go bad and pack it in a pepper.  I always have back up cans of organic black beans and corn in the cupboard for impromptu meals like this.  Like many of my other recipes, this one can also be done in a variety of different variations.

you can:
-add meat of choice (ground turkey, ground beef, chicken, etc)
-make it paleo friendly (omit the beans and corn and add more sweet potato and zucchini)
-add any of your other favorites veggies or substitute sweet potato for quinoa or brown rice

Serving size: 2

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INGREDIENTS
2 bell peppers
1/2 cup of black beans
1/4 cup of corn
1/2 a large zucchini or 2 baby zucchinis
1/4 yellow onion
1 garlic clove
2 roma tomatoes
1 medium sweet potato
favorite seasonings (cumin, pepper, salt, cayenne red pepper, and turmeric)
shredded cheese (optional)

RECIPE EQUIPMENT:
saucepan (pan)
pan (skillet)
peeler
can opener
bowl
baking sheet
parchment paper
aluminum foil
strainer
baking dish (if you have veggies left over)

DIRECTIONS:

1. bring a saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil
2. peel the sweet potato and chop into little cubes the size of half your pinky
3. once the water is boiling, add the sweet potato and cover for 6 minutes
4. while the sweet potato is cooking, chop up zucchini into the bowl
5. empty the can of black beans into the strainer, and rinse thoroughly with water.  Add 1/2 cup of the beans to the bowl with zucchini.  Next empty the can of corn and rinse thoroughly with water.  Add 1/4 cup of corn to the bowl with the zucchini and beans.
6. when the 6 minutes are up, drain the sweet potato and add the sweet potato to the bowl with the other veggies.
7. preheat the oven to 400 F
8. chop up the onion
9. heat up 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil on a pan, add pressed garlic.  When garlic starts to sizzle, add the chopped onions.  cook until onions are soft and browned.  Once cooked through, add the onion to the rest of the veggies
10. Time to add all your favorite seasonings. Generously add cumin, pepper, salt, turmeric, and red pepper to the veggies.  mix veggies thoroughly
11. cut the bell peppers in half length wise.  cut out all the stuff inside
12. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place all pepper halves face up.  Fill the peppers with the veggies.  I had a lot left over so I put  the remainder of the veggies in a baking dish
13.  Cover the peppers with aluminum foil. Put the baking sheet with the peppers and the additional baking dish in the oven for 25 minutes.
14. Take the baking sheet out and sprinkle each stuffed pepper with shredded cheese.  Put back in the oven for 5 minutes.
15. Take out of the oven and enjoy!

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Omelet-On-The-Go

If it was up to me, I would start every day with an omelet.  Unfortunately, between attempted morning gym sessions and constant alarm clock snoozing I never have the time to make it before I run out the door.

This is a recipe for egg muffins- the ideal ‘omelet’on the go.

egg muffins

egg muffins

There is plenty of room for flexibility to add all your favored fillers: bacon, sausage, cheese, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc;  you
name it.  You can either use eggs, eggs & egg whites, or just egg whites. Whatever you fancy or have.

They’re great for a breakfast on-the-go, a snack at the regular 3 pm slump, or a  pre-work out meal.

***recipe below makes 24 little egg muffins.  Cut the serving for ingredients in half if you only want 12

INGREDIENTS:
-6 eggs
-4 cups of egg whites
-2 Roma tomatoes
-1 bell pepper
-green onion
-cooking spray
-salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. preheat oven to 375 F
  2. chop up veggies and mix them together in a bowl
  3. whisk together the 6 eggs and the egg-whites in a separate bowl
    a bowl.  Add salt and pepper
  4. spray the muffin tin ‘holes’, making sure you cover all the sides
  5. using a large tablespoon, put a scoop of mixed
    veggies in every hole
  6. add whisked eggs in each hole, about 3/4 full, keeping in mind
    it will rise a little
  7. Put the muffin tins in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes

THE LAZYMAN APPROACH:

A small box of egg whites is enough for a muffin tray (12muffins).  Instead of crying my eyes out cutting onions, I buy the pre-made fresh salsa pico de gallo and use that for the veggies

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Spaghetti squash is one of the best things that’s happened to healthy eating.  It is the perfect substitute for pasta and satisfies that give-me-carbs-now feeling.

The  recipe below is for a  pesto spaghetti squash pasta recipe filled with baked zucchini and tomato but can be altered a million ways.

 

Spaghetti squash pasta with zucchini, tomato and pesto.

Spaghetti squash pasta with zucchini, tomato and pesto.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
-oven-friendly ceramic or glass dish
-2 baking sheets
-parchment paper
-mixing bowl

INGREDIENTS:
-medium/large spaghetti squash
-1 garlic clove (pressed) or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
-10 grape tomatoes (halved)
-1 medium zucchini chopped up
-olive oil
-salt & pepper
-pesto (try to pick one that has few additives; best ones are refrigerated at the grocery store)

DIRECTION:

-Preheat oven to 475 F
-in a baking-friendly ceramic or glass dish combine garlic, halved tomatoes and  1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.  Mix all together
-in a mixing bowl combine chopped zucchini, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, salt & pepper.  Mix all together
-line two baking sheets with parchment paper
-cut squash in half length wise and scoop out the middle (seeds and the darker orange stuff).  Put the squash face down on a baking sheet
-transfer the zucchini to the other baking sheet, making sure all the pieces are evenly spread out
-put the baking sheet with the squash in the oven for ten minutes
-after the 10 minutes, put the tomatoes and baking sheet with the zucchini in the oven.   ***keeping squash in the oven
-after 30 minutes (40 min total for squash) take everything out of the oven
-let the squash cool down for 10 minutes.  Using a fork, scrape out the squash into a bowl.  Add the zucchini and tomatoes to the bowl; mix.
-add 4 tablespoons of pesto, salt & pepper to the bowl and mix.

ENJOY

To cut time you can also cook the squash in the microwave for 10 minutes instead of baking.

Tips:
-if you don’t have pesto, you can use any pasta sauce
-I used zucchini and tomato because it was what I already had at home.  Spaghetti squash pasta is a great opportunity to use any left over produce.

Cook-Free Oatmeal

Cook-Free Oatmeal- also known as overnight oats, is what I’ve been making for breakfast this week.  If you’re looking for a filling breakfast I highly recommend giving this a try!  Takes 2 minutes the night before and  that’s it.

overnight oats

overnight oats

*all ingredients can be found at Trader Joe’s

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

-1/2 cup of rolled oats
-1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk (can sub any milk of choice)
-1/2 cup (4oz) or 1/2 container of a single serving of plain greek yogurt
-1 teaspoon of cinnamon
-1/2 tablespoon of raw honey or maple syrup (optional addition)
-1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)
-seal-able container

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a seal-able container and mix.  Put in fridge overnight.  In the morning you can eat it cold or heat it up in microwave for 45 seconds

TIPS:
-I’ve been eating it without the honey or maple syrup addition but for better taste I  recommend adding it, especially if you don’t like the taste of plain greek yogurt
-I know many can’t stand the taste of plain greek yogurt so feel free to use a flavored one.  If you do this, you can skip on the honey or maple syrup
-If you have fresh fruit at home I encourage to top the oats with fresh berries or banana!

Broccoli Slaw Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

The easiest way to get in a health rut is force feeding yourself salads.  And when I mean salad I don’t mean a bowl of cheese, bacon, and dressing with a piece of green here and there.  For weeks I was packing myself mixed greens with tomatoes, cucumbers, a piece of protein and olive oil and finally couldn’t eat it anymore.  This recipe is perfect as a side at dinner or paired with a protein for lunch.  I usually make a big batch and have it for a few meals.  The Tahini dressing is great on any salad and if you don’t have the ingredients you can enjoy the salad with just a bit of balsamic vinegar.

Broccoli Slaw Kale Salad w/Tahini Dressing

If you couldn’t already tell from my previous posts, I’m Trader Joe’s biggest fan.  All ingredient’s can be purchased there.

Ingredients for salad:

-2 cups of Kale (rip the hard stems off the leafs)
-1 cup of Trader Joe’s Broccoli Slaw (its a mixture of broccoli and carrot shredded)
-2 cloves of garlic (or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic)
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
-Salt, pepper
-1/4 a lemon
-1/2 avocado (optional but encouraged!)

DIRECTION TO MAKE SALAD:

-add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan
-press 2 garlic cloves onto pan
-once the garlic starts to sizzle, add the kale and the broccoli slaw
-season with salt and pepper.  Squeeze lemon all over
-mixing around the kale and slaw for 4-5 minutes.  The kale should be soft and dark green looking
-top with avocado!

Ingredients for Tahini Dressing:

-2 tablespoons of tahini
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
-1 clove of garlic (pressed)
-1 tablespoon of soy sauce or gluten free substitute (tamari or coconut aminos)
-2 tablespoons of water
-1/4 lemon

I use my magic bullet to make the dressing but it can be done manually as well.

DIRECTIONS:
Combine all ingredients above.

 

 

Shredded Chicken Tacos

If it was up to me and not my waistline I’d probably eat at Anna’s Taqueria daily.  This is a healthy and quick taco recipe that I make at least once a week.   This specific shredded chicken taco recipe requires all-day preparation but the taco’s can be filled with anything you’d like for quick fixes: ground turkey, ground beef, grilled shrimp, beans, etc.

For simplicity, I will divide the directions in two.

*all ingredients purchased at Trader Joe’s

shredded chicken tacos

shredded chicken tacos

SHREDDED CHICKEN RECIPE

***this recipe requires a crockpot

Ingredients:

  • jar of salsa (I love Trader Joe’s organic tomatillo roasted yellow chili salsa)
  • 1-1.5 lb of chicken breast
  • favorite seasonings (I use salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, paprika, Trader Joe’s African Smoke, and Trader Joe’s 21 salute seasoning)

Directions:

  • prepare the chicken breasts; cut off fat
  • fully cover both sides of the chicken breasts in seasoning
  • place the chicken breasts in the crockpot and pour in a jar of salsa.  If you’re using 1 lb of chicken 3/4 of the jar is fine
  • cook chicken on high for 6 hours of cook on low for 8 hours.  Stir occasionally

This chicken recipe is great for week meal preparation.  It can be eaten on tacos, in a sandwich or on top of a salad.  Between two of us it typically lasts for 2-3 meals.

TACO RECIPE:

ingredients for the perfect taco

ingredients for the perfect taco

Ingredients:

  • corn tortillas (I love the Trader Joe’s ones. they are made from only 3 ingredients and have no additives! corn, lime, and salt)
  • shredded cheese (i like Trader Joe’s Lite Mexican Blend)
  • avocado or guacamole
  • pico de gallo salsa (can be subbed by the rest of the jarred salsa)

Directions:

  • preheat the oven to 300 F
  • line a baking sheet with tinfoil
  • place the corn tortillas on the tinfoil
  • sprinkle cheese on the tortillas.  if you’re calorie/portion cautious measure out 1/4 cup of cheese per 2 tortillas.  I typically eat 2 tortillas and my other half eats 3
  • place the baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted
  • take the tortillas out of the oven and add chicken (or filler of choice)
  • top with avocado/guacamole and pico de gallo/salsa

 

 

 

Avocado Egg Salad

This is hands down my signature lunch I bring to work.  It’s easy to make and combines two of my favorite things: eggs and avocado.

It can be eaten on top of a mixed green salad, on bread, or in a wrap.

I  typically make one serving and eat it on top of a toasted slice of Ezekiel bread paired with a side salad or baby carrots.

Ingredients (2 servings):

-2 hard boiled eggs (chopped up)
-1/2 avocado or 2 tablespoons of guacamole
-1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
-salt &pepper

Combine all together & enjoy!

*all ingredients bought at Trader Joe’s

guacamole egg salad