Lemon Orzo with Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus

Bright and fresh, this pasta salad can be enjoyed hot, cold, or room temperature!  This recipe makes enough to serve 8, but I love to packservings in mason jars to take with me to work throughout the week.  Dinner plus meal prep for the week?  Check and check 😊

Why (the science):  Herbs are often used only as a garnish, but they have so much nutritional power!  Parsley plays the lead with artichoke hearts and asparagus to provide an abundance of vitamin C and folic acid, which play critical roles in our immune system and heart health.

 

Creamy Caulfilower Dill Soup

6 ingredients (olive oil, salt, and pepper don’t count!) is all it takes to make this silky, spring-inspired soup JOh, and there’s no cream!  Simmered and blended cauliflower creates that velvety consistency.  Ready in under 45 minutes from prep to serving, this light soup pairs perfectly with a grilled sandwich or breadsticks on the side.  Perfect for the cooler transition weather from winter to spring, it’s warming and comforting.  Serves 8 (makes great leftovers)

Why (the science):  Rule of thumb: stinky vegetables (think onions and garlic) and cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower) are known for their anticarcinogenic effect.  This is one powerful soup!

 

Lemon Amaretto Cookies

If you love the Italian amaretto cookies, you’ll adore my new spin on the classic.  Amaretto is brightened with lemon zest and juice, and given a depth of sweetness from dried apricots and dates.  Made with oats, these cookies make a great breakfast, too!  Cookies for breakfast?  I won’t tell ;)

Why (the science):  Cookies that are incredibly sweet without any additional sugar?  Fiber from oats?  On the go energy?  That’s an incredible cookie!

 

Vegan Mac and Cheese

I grew up eating my Mom’s homemade mac and cheese, which had all the flavors and fat that comfort food typically has and is one of my favorite recipes (hello butter and cheddar!).  On a whim, I decided to make vegan mac and cheese inspired by fellow healthy food bloggers, and it knocked my socks off!  I tweaked a few recipes to make this stellar version-all the flavor of traditional mac and cheese, but without the saturated fat and dairy.  The “cheese” is gooey, creamy, and honestly tastes like cheddar cheese.  Skeptical?  Try it and taste for yourself

Why (the science):  Nutritional yeast is the key component to making vegan food brilliantly taste cheesy and is packed with vitamin B12, a vitamin found mostly in animal food.  B12 is required for metabolism and DNA synthesis, so nutritional yeast is a powerful food that all vegans should have in their back pocket 

Matcha and Cacao Truffles

Yes, truffles can be nutritious!  Made with nuts, seeds, fruit, and citrus zest, these truffles are gilded with superfood powders to give you long-lasting energy…truffles for breakfast anyone?

Why (the science):  Matcha powder provides an “alert calm” to get you through an afternoon slump, while cacao powder is a great source of fiber and iron.  Who knew?!

 

Eat the Rainbow Bowl

Isn’t there a tag line that goes something like taste the rainbow?  Well I say, don’t just taste the rainbow, but eat the rainbow!  This bowl could not be more colorful or more nutritious, so grab a big fork and dig in :)  Serves 4

 

Red Curry with Rice

My husband and I are huge Thai food fans and love going to Thai restaurants for a warming dinner.  But when I made Red Curry at home (my favorite Thai food), he praised it for being tastier than the curry at our favorite Thai restaurant!  And since Red Curry takes only 30 minutes to make, it’s faster than eating out.  Tastier, faster, cheaper, and healthier… that’s a win-win.  Makes great leftovers too!  Serves 6-8

Herbed Chicken and Lemon Quinoa Meal Prep

This meal prep takes only 30 minutes for all components to be successfully set up for a week of bright and filling lunches!  You can also serve this for an easy dinner throughout the week with your favorited roasted vegetables.  Quinoa is not only a great make-ahead grain option but is also a complete protein and pairs perfectly with tangy lemon, herbed chicken, and mild green onions. 

Balanced Bowl Meal Prep

Meal prep and eating healthfully could not be easier than a Balanced Bowl, because all components last successfully in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.  This means that all you have to do is assemble your lunch the night before or assemble all of the week’s lunches at once so they are ready to take with you!  (Just be sure to add the avocado new each day to ensure its freshness).

Cinnamon-Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sometimes, dinner simply needs to be prepped and on the table in less than 40 minutes.  Start to finish, this elegant quinoa stuffed acorn squash accomplishes that goal, but it will look like you spent hours in the kitchen creating it!  Children are apt to love it, since the flavor profile leans toward sweet, especially with the cinnamon and raisins.  Quinoa is a complete protein, so this filling dish would make a great “Meatless Monday” option.

Zero-Added-Sugar Zucchini Muffins

How hard is it to find a breakfast muffin recipe that actually has zero added sugar?  Because the truth is, honey and molasses, although natural and mostly unprocessed, are still added sugars (which means added empty calories).  These zucchini muffins are incredibly moist, and not dense at all thanks to the whole wheat pastry flour!  Whole wheat pastry flour bakes the same way that all-purpose flour does, making it the perfect flour to have in your home to boost nutrition! 

Strawberry and Mint Bamboo Rice

This jade colored rice may be my new favorite food!  Bamboo rice has a mild jasmine green tea flavor, which pairs perfectly with sweet strawberries and fresh mint.  Add the goat cheese after the rice has cooled so that it doesn’t melt and disintegrate.  Perfect for a refreshing and filling lunch!  Serves 4 

Quick-Brined Rosemary Pork Chops

Brining your pork before grilling will yield an incredibly juicy chop!  You rinse the brine off before grilling, so do not be alarmed by the amount of salt and sugar used.  Give this a try the next time you make pork chops for dinner- gone will be the days of tough and dry chops, something you definitely want to avoid, and now quickly can J

Easy Apple and Spiced Grape Chutney

Nothing tastes more like the comfort of Fall than apples and spices!  It’s too easy to make your own chutney, which serves as the perfect accompaniment to Quick-Brined Rosemary Pork Chops.  Add even more flavor using spiced jam from the Preserving Place, a beautiful locally-owned and operated artisan store located in the Westside district of Atlanta and conveniently ships all across the country!

Fairytale Eggplant in a Balsamic Reduction with Oven-Roasted Peppers

Fairytale eggplant is officially the most adorable vegetable because of its tiny size and purple-white stripes!  But there’s another reason to love this little eggplant: it does not have the bitterness that a typical Italian eggplant that you find at the grocery store has (you know the ones…those giant dark purple eggplant giants).  Fairytale eggplant has very few seeds, the culprit for eggplant bitterness.  Between the smell of homemade roasted peppers, the sweetness of a balsamic reduction, and the punch of peppery oregano, you will be transported straight to an Italian kitchen.  Buon appetito!