Vanilla or Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

I have two exciting things for you this Monday morning:

  1. My first ever video recipe!

2. A high protein meatless snack for Meatless Monday: Vanilla or Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding!

Vanilla and Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding.jpg

This week, I created a video teaching you how to make Vanilla or Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding.  Chia seeds were featured in my first video on 5 High Protein Vegetarian Sources That You May Not Know About.  Now, I’m teaching you how to use them in the video below!

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding overhead.jpg

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of Vanilla Almond Milk or Chocolate Milk

1 tablespoon of non-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons of Chia seeds

Sliced strawberries (optional)

Shredded coconut (optional)

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Directions:

1) In a bowl, combine the milk (use only one type of milk), yogurt and chia seeds and combine with a whisk.

2) Pour the chia seed mixture in a container and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours (preferably overnight).

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

3) When ready to serve, top with sliced strawberries and shredded coconut.

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding with Strawberry Topping

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Recipe ReDux: Mason Jar Salad

Today is a special 21st of the month because it’s Bill’s birthday! Let’s take a moment to say Happy Birthday to my partner in crime!

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Okay, now the real reason for this post.  The 21st also happens to be my Recipe ReDux day.  This month’s challenge was to create a recipe with 7 ingredients or less. Considering I eat a very simple, yet delicious, salad almost every day for lunch, I knew exactly what to post. It seems that my readers are yearning for simple, healthy and quick recipes, and this Mason Jar salad fits the “bill” (pun intended). Why is the salad in a Mason Jar? Layering the ingredients allows you to make this salad way ahead of time without ending up with a soggy mess. By putting the dressing and the more sturdy ingredients at the bottom of the Mason Jar and the lettuce at the top, this salad will stay overnight in the fridge and still be good for lunch the next day. The combination of ingredients I used are salty (feta cheese), sweet (apples), and crunchy (cucumbers). But, feel free to use whatever ingredients you like best.  Just make sure the hardest ingredients are at the bottom of the Mason Jar.

Mason Jar SaladMakes 1 salad

Ingredients:

(There are no measurements for the veggies–use as much as any vegetable as you like, but go easy on the cheese)

Chickpeas

Cucumbers, chopped

Apple, chopped

Red Cabbage, Chopped

Red Leaf Lettuce or Spinach

Feta Cheese

Balsamic Vinaigrette (whisk together 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar)

Mason Jar Salad 2Directions:

1) Layer the salad ingredients in the Mason Jar in this order: dressing, chickpeas, cucumbers, apple, red cabbage, lettuce, feta cheese.

2) When ready to eat, shake up the jar to spread the dressing evenly.  Put the salad on a plate and enjoy!

Avocado Toast Is The New Kale

Let me explain the title.  I went out for brunch this past weekend and everyone around me was ordering the avocado toast (naturally, I ordered it too).  Then, I went to a coffee shop and they were serving avocado toast.  Since then, I’ve noticed avocado toast on menus EVERYWHERE in NYC.  If you haven’t tried this trendy staple, now’s the time to jump on the bandwagon. Rather than pay $10+ for it at a restaurant, why not make your own at home?

Avocado Toast_edited-1This is so easy that I’m not even sure it should be considered cooking. It’s more like compiling ingredients. My version of this trendy new food item is smoky and salty, and I think it’s going to be crowd pleaser. And, avocados contain “good” monounsaturated fats, which are great for your heart.

Makes 2 pieces of toast

Ingredients:
2 slices of whole wheat bread (I used boule bread from the bakery section of the supermarket)
1 ripe avocado
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 radish, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon crumbled Feta cheese

Avocado Toast Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Toast the bread in a toaster oven or in a 350 degrees F oven for a few minutes.
  2. Cut the avocado in half and remove the peel and the pit.  Place in a bowl.  Add the smoked paprika to the bowl and mash the avocado and paprika with a fork.
  3. Spoon the avocado mixture onto the bread and top with radish and Feta cheese.

Avocado Toast 2

So simple, right?

 

 

Recipe ReDux: Breakfast Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, you read that title right.  These are Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies that you can eat for breakfast!!

Breakfast Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies 1This month’s Recipe ReDux challenge was to share new ideas for breakfast.

“Show us the healthy way you wake up your breakfast – or wake up just for breakfast!”

Well, I will definitely get out of bed for breakfast cookies.  So why am I advocating that you eat cookies for breakfast? Well, these cookies are gluten-free, contain whole grains, protein and have no sugar (besides the small amount of chocolate chips).  Made with oats, bananas, apple sauce, Greek yogurt, peanut butter powder and a few spices, these cookies are a great way to start your morning. They combine some of my favorite breakfast items and taste like a cookie.  Make a batch and enjoy them all week!

Makes 12 Cookies

Ingredients:
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoons of non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons peanut butter powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Breakfast Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies overheadDirections:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed banana, applesauce, Greek yogurt, vanilla and milk. Stir until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon and peanut butter powder. Stir.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl and stir with a spoon.  Then add the chocolate chips and stir again.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drop small cookies (about the size of a golf ball) on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Breakfast Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies 2

Creamy Cauliflower & Onion Soup

 

Sometimes I  make a recipe mistake and it turns into a recipe success, which is exactly what happened with this soup! These cold winter nights just make me crave soup, so I decided to make a Cauliflower Soup recipe from a new cookbook.  But I always put my own spin on cookbook recipes, based on whether or not I have all of the ingredients. The cauliflower I used was actually really small after I cut off all of the stems and leaves, and I ended up having a lot more onions, leeks and garlic than cauliflower.  I figured it would still taste okay, and it tasted like a deliciously creamy oniony cauliflower soup.

Cauliflower & Onion Soup overhead

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1 leek (only the white and light green part), roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
4 cups of vegetable stock
3 Bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup of half & half

Cauliflower Onion Soup

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss the cauliflower, onion, leek, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl until all of the vegetables are evenly coated. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.  The vegetables should be slightly charred.
  3. In a soup pot, combine the vegetables, stock, Bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add the Greek yogurt and half & half.
  5. Use either an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the soup. If needed, season with salt and pepper. Serve warm and enjoy!

Cauliflower & Onion Soup Side

Chocolate Pomegranate Love Nests

I’m really not big on Valentine’s Day.  My boyfriend and I don’t even have plans, but he does love sweets, so I made him a decadent treat.  We were recently in this vegetable market by our apartment and he pointed out pomegranate seeds.  “These would be good for a Valentine’s Day recipe and blog post,” he said. Although he really doesn’t know much about cooking or baking, it was a really great suggestion.  So, I threw the seeds into my basket and sought out to make a dessert.

Voila! These simple, 4 ingredient, no-bake Chocolate Pomegranate Love Nests were created.  The dark chocolate and pomegranate seeds are packed with antioxidants, so this is a Valentine’s Day dessert that you can eat without the guilt! And they look like little bird’s nests, so make them for your love bird…or not.

Chocolate Pomegranate Love Nests

Makes 6 Nests

Ingredients:

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds

sprinkle sea salt

Directions:

1) Line a muffin tin with parchment paper.

2) Place the chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.  Microwave another 30 seconds, and stir again.  Microwave another 15 seconds.  Stir until the chocolate is creamy.  If needed, microwave another 15 seconds.

3) Add the pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds to melted chocolate and stir.

4) Pour the chocolate mixture into 6 segments of the muffin tin, so that they are just coating the bottom.  If needed, use a fork to evenly spread the mixture. Sprinkle sea salt on each nest.

5) Place the muffin tin in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  The chocolate will harden and the nests will pop right out when ready.

Chocolate bite

 

 

 

30-Day Healthy Living Challenge: Day 11

Today’s Day 11 Challenge kills two birds with one stone (without killing any birds, of course).

Day 11 Challenge: Meatless Monday, Part 2

The rules and reasons for going Meatless are the same as Day 4, but there’s a special addition with this post: a recipe inspired by The Recipe ReDux’s Progresso Comfort Food Challenge.  Progresso has a new line of Cooking Stock that tastes homemade because it is made with real vegetables. Progresso challenged Recipe ReDux members to use their new stock to make one of our favorite comfort food dishes. In case you needed a little extra inspiration for your Meatless Monday challenge, here’s a recipe for a delicious Mexican Pizza.

day 11Mexican rice and beans is one of my all-time favorite comfort food vegetarian dishes. This recipe uses Progresso’s Vegetable stock to make  delicious, flavorful rice and beans that can be made in one pot and served up by themselves.  The stock really adds so much more flavor to the rice and beans than boiling in just water. Even better than a hearty bowl of rice and beans is rice and beans served on a crispy tortilla and covered in cheese, vegetables and Greek yogurt (my healthy version of sour cream).  Cook this up for Meatless Monday or any night of the week, and it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Tomorrow will be a new challenge that you haven’t seen before, so enjoy this easy repeat!

Mexican Rice & Beans close-up 2

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

For the Rice & Beans:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
3/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup brown lentil
2 cups (15-oz. can) cooked pinto beans, washed and drained
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chili
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
4 cups Progresso vegetable stock

For the pizza:
4 whole wheat tortillas
1/4 cup Mexican cheese
1 chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped spinach
lime juice
4 teaspoons non-fat Greek yogurt

Mexican TortillaDirections: 

  1. Heat a sauce pot over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add oil to the pot. Add the onion and red pepper to the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, brown rice, lentils, pinto beans, paprika, chili powder, salt and oregano to the pot and stir well.  Make sure everything is evenly coated.  Pour the stock into the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the pot reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.Mexican Rice & Beans in pot
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. After the rice and beans are cooked, let them sit for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Make your Mexican pizza by layering a tortilla, rice and beans, cheese and red peppers.  Place in the over for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle with chopped spinach, lime juice and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Mexican pizza close-up

Disclosure: I received free samples of Progresso Cooking Stock mentioned in this post at no cost. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Progresso Cooking Stock and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.