Quinoa cakes with goat cheese and peppers

quinoa cheese cakes

I’ve made quinoa cakes before and they are some of the easiest things to make since I usually have quinoa on hand, so it’s really about adding whatever else I have in the fridge or want to go buy. I had some leftover cheeses from other recipes, so I used an assortment of goat, cheddar and parmesan cheeses. All I needed to get from the store were the fresh peppers and jalapenos. The cakes were a bit hot (which is how I like them) so you can definitely tone down the spice according to your taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (I also used a blend of cheddar cheese I had a little left of)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

Cook the quinoa according to directions.

Mash the goat cheese with a fork in a large bowl. Then combine the quinoa, cheeses, 2 tablespoons of the flour, peppers, onions, spices, herbs, salt and pepper, and eggs and. Stir until well combined, adding more flour or oil as needed to achieve a fairly moist mixture that can be shaped into roughly 6-8 small patties.

Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, fry a few patties at a time until golden brown — about 5 minutes each side. Remove and let drain on paper towels.

Super food bowl: sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, bell peppers, avocado and egg

super food bowl

I’m glad this recipe turned out all right because I was inspired by three different other recipes I have seen and tried before. And you can’t really go wrong when you add egg to anything. I made it for my family in an effort to introduce some more healthful options, and they were really pleased with it. It left all of us feeling full and satisfied – but not weighed down by a ton of food.

You can add or take away anything from the dish based on your preference. But I love all of these super foods, and I loved the way I felt after eating them!

Ingredients:

  • one yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 bell peppers, chopped (any color, I used red and green)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, halved
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • avocado
  • eggs
  • 1 package bean sprouts
  • olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake the sweet potatoes until softened, about 45 minutes.

In a skillet, saute the onion and garlic until browned, or about two minutes, then add the bell peppers and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Then add the broccoli and cauliflower and continue to cook another 8-10 minutes.

In a separate pan, fry the egg in a little bit of oil.

When the sweet potatoes are ready, peel the potatoes and cut them into bite sized cubes.

When the egg is cooked and the veggies are softened, serve immediately by placing the sweet potato and skillet mixture in first, add the avocado and sprouts, and top with the egg.

You can add any additional spices or sauces like sriracha or kale pesto, etc. Enjoy!

Kale pesto

kale pesto

I loved the idea of using kale in my pesto when I was researching and thinking of recipes for the week. Kale can be tricky because it is so bitter so I was intrigued to test the recipe out, but it ended up tasting great! I used it in a couple of recipes already, and even use it to dip raw veggies in for a healthy snack. Pesto really is so easy to make, the hardest part is the cleanup. This time I used my immersion blender instead of a food processor and the cleanup was much easier!

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups kale
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the pesto: pulse all in the ingredients in your food processor or blend with an immersion blender until it becomes pesto.

Turkey lettuce wraps

Turkey lettuce wraps

I love this meal when I’m looking for a light, filling meal. You can adjust based on your serving preferences, like ground beef instead of turkey. Also, if you’re cooking for a group you can also use taco shells for those who prefer it!

Ingredients:

  • 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar

Directions:

Brown turkey in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Wash and dry the lettuce. Divide the meat equally between the 8 leaves and place in the center of each leaf and top with your favorite taco toppings! I added some avocado and sriracha sauce…my faves!

Blackened chicken with Brussels sprouts

Chicken and brussels sprouts

I took last Thursday and Friday off to spend my mom’s birthday with her, and wanted to cook her delicious meal. The night of her actual birthday (Wednesday) my aunt cooked since I had to work and drive three hours that day. I made it just in time for my mom’s favorite, pork chops and potatoes. The next day I wanted to cook her other favorites so she wouldn’t have two meals of pork in a row. She also had a grill that I had been wanting to use. The meal was light and delicious, perfect for summer grilling!

Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat and set aside. Add the onion and sweet potato to the pan and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the brussels sprouts, saute until tender, about 5 minutes, let sit until the bottoms start to caramelize, about 5 minutes, mix everything up, let sit for 5 minutes and mix it all up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Blackened Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grill
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (2 1/2 pounds total)

Directions:

Set up a grill for indirect cooking over medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. In a bowl, combine paprika, ground pepper, salt, cayenne, oregano, thyme, garlic, and oil; rub on chicken.

Grill chicken, skin side down, directly over heat source until skin is browned, about 4 minutes. Flip chicken; move to cooler side of grill. Cover grill and cook chicken until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil. Let chicken rest 10 minutes.

Tabbouleh with pearl barley

Tabbouleh

I mentioned yesterday that I was trying to reset my week with some healthy options for meals. For some reason I had been craving tabbouleh, but had never made it for myself. It was actually very easy because you just have to mix all the ingredients together and let it sit to improve its flavor. Just let it do its thing, and enjoy!

Also, I was also glad to find out that I could buy the barley at Kroger. I was worried it would only be at Central Market or something and I would have to make an extra stop. Who has time for that???

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Cook the pearl barley according the package directions. Once cooked, remove to a large bowl and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Add the garlic, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours or over night.

The recipe would go great with baked or grilled chicken, fresh veggies and hummus.

Veggie spring rolls with cucumber, carrots and avocado

Veggie spring rolls

July has been a nonstop month for me. For some reason, I booked myself full every single weekend. Last weekend I went to Austin to visit some college friends who planned a barge party. While we had so much fun, I also ate and drank more than I normally do (duh). Not to mention, I missed out on my weekend City Surf workouts. So I wanted to reset the week with a healthy meal and incorporate raw veggies. Spring rolls are so easy to make, and so delicious. The avocado adds a nice healthy fat element so it will leave you feeling full. The sauce is also easy to prepare, so you’ll be eating within 15 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (about 20) round rice paper wrappers (can be found in Asian section of grocery store; store in pantry until ready to use)
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • 1 avocado, cut into thin strips (squeeze a little lemon or lime over this if you won’t serve it right away so it doesn’t brown)

Dipping sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (Asian chili sauce), more or less, to taste, depending on how spicy you like it

Instructions:

Set out all ingredients listed above. Just before serving, soak 1 rice paper at a time in water until it becomes oft and shake to drain. Lay rice paper out on a large plate or cutting board. Add ingredients of choice in a line across the lower quarter of the paper in the following order: peppers, carrot, cucumber, then avocado.

Close the rolls by folding the left and right sides of the paper towards the middle and rolling up tightly from the bottom of the roll.

Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.