Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)

rainbow1Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)
the salad ingredients:
large head of romaine
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
2 cups corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
rainbow2
Cilantro-Avocado Dressing (V)(GF)
the dressing ingredients:
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 avocado, smashed
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar1 tsp. agave nectar
1/8 tsp. salt

the method:

  1. Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes and onion.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Toss with desired dressing and serve.

 

Meatless Monday: Grilled Veggies in a Tomato-Cilantro-Turmeric Sauce (V)(GF)

grilled vegGrilled Veggies in a Tomato-Cilantro-Turmeric Sauce (V)(GF)

The ingredients

2 large plum tomatoes, coarsely grated on a box grater
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pure olive oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. turmeric
1 lemon, juiced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground pepper

the method:

  1. In a food processor, combine the grated tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, turmeric and cilantro. Pulse until smooth. Add the veggies to marinade and coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Light a grill. Thread the veggies onto metal skewers (if you’re using bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them for 30 minutes prior to grilling), leaving a small space between each piece. Brush the veggies with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 10minutes.
  3. Use extra sauce for dipping. ūüôā

Meatless Monday: Black Bean Tostadas

beanBlack Bean Tostadas (GF)

the ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 can refried black beans (I make my own, but if you buy canned make sure they are vegetarian)
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • Shredded cheese or vegan cheese
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Red onion, diced
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Additional toppings of your choice (I like to put a lot of hot sauce on mine)

 

the method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spray tortillas on both sides and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat refried beans and cumin in a pan over low to med-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Layer tortillas with beans, cheese, and onion.
  4. Return layered tortillas to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  5. Add the rest of your desired toppings and serve.

Broccoli Gruyere Pasta Bake

 

I decided to forgo the gym yesterday – the weather was just so rainy that it just felt better snuggled up on the couch next to my pup Eleanor and watching the SVU Marathon that is on constant record.¬† I know what you‚Äôre thinking‚Ķ I live in AZ ‚Äď the desert – how much rain could you possibly get? Well, it wasn‚Äôt so much the rain that prevented me from journeying to LA Fitness, it was the intense dust storm and powerful winds that prevented me from even opening my front door. Basically, the weather held me hostage, which I was okay with.

So I busted out my emergency bottle of red wine and indulged in this pasta dish:

 

Broccoli Gruyere Pasta Bake

The ingredients:

  • 1¬†lb penne or any pasta
  • 1¬†red onion , roughly chopped
  • 1¬†lb head broccoli , stalks chopped and florets halved
  • 1¬†vegetable stock cube
  • 1¬†tsp French or German mustard
  • 1¬†cup pot half fat cr√®me fra√ģche
  • 1/2¬†c grated mature Gruy√®re or cheddar
  • small handful parsley leaves, chopped
  • 4¬†tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs (or put 1 slice crustless white bread through a food processor)
  • 1/2¬†tsp dried mixed herbs or thyme
  • Parmesan, optional

The method:

  1. Boil the pasta, onion and broccoli stalks in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 7 mins, then add the florets and cook for another 3 mins. Reserve about 1 1/2 cup of the water, then drain the pasta and vegetables.
  2. Return the reserved water to the pan and dissolve the stock cube, whisk in the mustard and cr√®me fra√ģche, then season to taste. Bring to the boil. Stir in the drained pasta, vegetables and half the cheese, mixing until melted. Stir in the parsley.
  3. Heat the broiler for 3 mins. Tip the pasta and vegetables into a shallow, ovenproof dish. Mix together the remaining cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs, then scatter on top.
  4. Broil for 3-5 minutes, turning if it starts to brown. Keep watching so the top doesn’t start to burn or the cheese will toughen. Remove and leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.

Mediterranean Feast

Ladies, brace yourselves: Bikini Season is just around the corner.

That’s right, I put the stinky fish on the table. Even though summer is a season that most people look forward to, some women most women are paralyzed by fear when thinking about slipping (or stuffing) themselves into that itty-bitty bikini. I don’t blame you, we’re all guilty of indulging during the holidays and colder weather… we need to keep warm somehow, right?

So what are our options? Jenny Craig? Cleanses? Food that tastes like cardboard?

I’m not going to suggest against any of the former methods- well maybe the third one, but there are plenty of websites that have yummy recipes that keep the pounds off (yes, I just shamlessly plugged my own blog… oops, I did it again).

Last night, Nick and I made a Mediterranean inspired meal that boasts only 197 calories per serving. I didn’t even HAVE to feel guilty for having seconds… and thirds ;). It was delicious and very fresh tasting. I think the boy-toy agreed.

Mediterranean Kabobs:

1block of super-firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes (non-veg: 1 lb boneless chicken breast)
For the marinade:
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic, crushed
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
For the salad:
1 1/4 cups cucumber, peeled
1 1/4 cups diced tomato
2 tbsp red onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh dillweed
1 tsp fresh parsley
1/8 tsp dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup feta cheese, grated

lemon wedges for serving
Directions:
  1. Marinate the tofu at least 2-3 hours or overnight. If using wooden skewers, soak in water at least 30 minutes if grilling outdoors.
  2. Combine the first 12 salad ingredients (cucumbers through salt and black pepper, not the lettuce) and set aside in the refrigerator to let the flavors set.
  3. Thread tofu on 4 skewers and cook on a hot grill (indoor or outdoor grill) until tofu is cooked though, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Divide lettuce between four plates, top with tomato-cucumber salad, fresh grated feta cheese and grilled tofu. Serve with lemon wedges.

Pic of Nick’s dish for good measure: