Ravioli Lasagna (GF)

ravioli lasagna

Ravioli Lasagna (GF)

the ingredients:
1 bag frozen  gluten-free cheese ravioli (I used Conte’s)
3 cups homemade marinara or 1 jar of store-bought sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt & black pepper, to taste

the method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Pour some tomato sauce into bottom of 9×13 inch casserole  – just enough to coat the bottom of the dish. :)
3. Place a layer of frozen ravioli (no need to thaw or pre-cook) in the sauce. Sprinkle with  Parmesan and mozzarella.
4. Place another layer of ravioli. Pour the rest of sauce over the ravioli.
5. Sprinkle rest of cheeses over the sauce. Season with black pepper to taste.
6. Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes or until cheese and sauce is meted and bubbly.
YUM!

ravioli lasagna2

 

Chia Fresca – A Prebiotic Energy Booster!

chia fresca2Here is a yummy and natural prebiotic energy boosting drink! I love downing one of these bad boys before AND after my yoga classes. It’s made with coconut water, chia seeds, lemon and a hint of agave nectar and is extremely effective in hydrating the body and balancing electrolytes after a good sweat. :)

I talk A LOT about probiotics on this blog and on mybody skincare’s blog, but on this post, I wanted to shine some light on prebiotics since they aren’t talked about nearly as much as the former.

You may be thinking, “Well, maybe they aren’t as important as probiotics. I have never even heard of them!” And you would be wrong.

In fact, prebiotics are essential to probiotics carrying out their duties. Simply put, prebiotics are food for probiotics and they help increase the absorption of minerals in our body while balancing the acid in our gut. Prebiotics are found naturally in foods we eat on a daily basis such as yogurt, kefir, onions, CHIA SEEDS, bananas, etc. This dynamic duo works hand-in-hand to carry out their immune-boosting and acid-balancing benefits.

Think about it this way: Your tomato plants can’t grow with just fertilizer (prebiotics), and they can’t grow if you’re only using seeds (probiotics) – the two of these items need to work together to allow that beautiful tomato plant to flourish! Here is an easy recipe that will ensure you’re getting your daily dose of prebiotics…

chia fresca1

Chia Fresca

2 cups coconut water
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice ( and a slice to make it pretty)
1/2 tbsp Agave Nectar, to taste (or any natural sweetener)

the method:

 Add chia and coconut water into a mason jar or a bottle with a lid. This is key because you will want to shake this mixture around for a minute or two.

Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to swell up and soften.

Add lemon juice and agave nectar to taste. Shake well to combine and enjoy!

Sip Sip Hooray!!

Eggplant Parmesan (GF)

eggplant parmEggplant Parmesan (GF)

the ingredients:

1/2 cup marinara sauce, divided

1/4 cup gluten free panko breadcrumbs (I use Ian’s)

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 1/2 tsp. canola oil

1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices on the diagonal (I used chicken for Nick’s)

1 small egg, beaten

1/4 cup grated smoked mozzarella cheese, divided

2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/4 tsp. dried basil

the method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat small baking dish with cooking spray, and spread with 2 Tbs. marinara sauce.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning in shallow bowl. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in panko mixture.
  3. Cook slices in single layer in oil 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until light brown.
  4. Place half of eggplant slices in single layer in prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with 2 Tbs. mozzarella and 1 tsp. Parmesan. Discard remaining egg and panko.
  5. Place remaining eggplant slices, remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over eggplant in dish. Sprinkle with dried basil. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Veggie Burrito Bowl (GF)

fbvVeggie Burrito Bowl (GF)

the ingredients:

3 cups brown rice
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 scallions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper (I used red)
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp hot chili powder
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 can black beans, drained
Salt
Black pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp plain greek yogurt if desired

the method: 

  1. Cook the brown rice according to the instructions on the packet.  I use the microwaveable organic brown rice packets from Trader Joe’s – HUGE time saver.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan, and cook the onions, garlic and pepper over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, along with the chilli powder and paprika, and cook for a few more minutes. Squash the tomatoes a little with your spoon to release their juices. Add the black beans, and season to taste.
  3. When the rice is cooked, drain it and add it to the bean mixture. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a dash of water.
  4. When the mixture is hot and well combined, serve topped with the grated cheese and fresh cilantro. I topped Nick’s with some slow-cooked pulled pork that I made over the weekend. :) 

Grown-Up Mac n’ Cheese

grownupmacncheese2Grown-Up Mac ‘n Cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) gluten-free/whole-wheat penne
  • 1 lb. spinach leaves, trimmed
  • ¼ cup olive oil or butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour/gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk/soy milk
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese/Daiya cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg, optional
  • Optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, hot sauce, scallions, etc.

the method:

  1. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat large pot over medium-high heat. Add spinach, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted, stirring with tongs to cook all leaves. Drain, and press out any excess liquid. Coarsely chop wilted spinach, and set aside.grownupmacncheese1
  3. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, then add penne, spinach, 1/2 cup Parmesan, garlic, and nutmeg, if using, to sauce, and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to prepared baking dish, sprinkle remaining 2 Tbs. Parmesan over mixture, and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until top is browned.Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 11- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
pasta

Baked Caprese Pasta (GF)

pastaBaked Caprese Pasta (GF)
the ingredients:

1 pound gluten-free pasta (I used brown rice penne from Trader Joe’s)

1 cup of your favorite pasta/tomato sauce

1/3 cup soy milk (or cow’s milk/heavy cream/half and half)

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish

4 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into cubes

1 pint of grape tomatoes (sliced in half)

1 bunch of fresh basil leaves

the method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. Once warm, stir in soy milk and grated parmesan. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and dump into the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off heat. Fold in mozzarella cubes and tomatoes, then chop 3-4 fresh basil leaves and add them in too. Once combined, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire pasta mixture into the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Top with additional fresh basil and grated cheese. I served Nick’s with some spicy Italian sausage – he had no complaints.

pars salad

Parsley, Mint & Cherry Tomato Salad (V)(GF)

pars saladParsley, Mint & Cherry Tomato Salad (V)(GF)

the ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large bunch mint
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

the method:

  1. Pick the leaves from the parsley and mint and place in a large bowl. Halve the cherry tomatoes and toss with the parsley and mint leaves.
  2. Combine the shallot, mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in the oil until emulsified, then toss the dressing with the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.