All tagged Olive Oil

Grilled Romaine & Corn Salad with Basil Aioli Dressing (Vegan, GF)

If you’re bored with the same meals and are looking for the simplest and quickest way to switch it up, then you’re going to love this Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad with Basil Aioli Dressing.  The dressing and salad come together in 15 minutes flat! The Basil Aioli Dressing is creamy, dreamy and just happens to be super healthy and vegan (but don’t tell your spouse and children that...)  Whip up this showstopper salad in both winter for some needed brightness and color, and in summer to impress your BBQ party guests. 

Serves: 2-4 (2 meals, 4 sides)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

What (your ingredients):

Basil Aioli Dressing:

1 cup raw cashew halves

½ cup boiling water

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)

1 garlic clove

1 20-gram package basil

For the Salad:

½ tablespoon olive oil

1 head romaine, rinsed and dried

½ sweet corn, frozen

How (your directions):

To make the Basil Aioli Dressing, start by placing cashews in a small bowl and covering them with ½ cup boiling water.  Let stand 5 minutes.

While cashews are soaking, heat grill pan over medium heat.  Slice the head of romaine in half.  Tip: do not remove the tough bottom that holds romaine head together.

Once heated, add the olive oil to the grill pan.  Place each romaine half, cut side down, onto grill pan.  Next to the romaine, add the frozen corn.  Cook romaine halves and corn 3-4 minutes.

While grilling, add cashews and their soaking water, salt, lemon juice, garlic clove, and basil to a blender. 

Blend until smooth.

Plate by placing grilled romaine halves onto a large serving platter, then evenly distribute grilled corn on top.  Drizzle liberally with the Basil Aioli Dressing.

Why (the science):  Creamy dressings from the store are loaded with processed ingredients, preservatives, and unhealthy fats.  This Basil Aioli Dressing is super nutritious, between the heart-healthy and protein-filled cashews and the anticarcinogenic garlic.  This creamy dressing is something to feel good about 😊

Mushroom and Artichoke Pulled BBQ

Eating your vegetables has never been so easy!  Make pulled BBQ at home in 25 minutes using only a few easy, whole food ingredients.  Mushroom and Artichoke BBQ would be a delicious plant-based option at your outdoor picnic and summer BBQ parties 😊

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. white or baby bella mushrooms, diced

2 15-oz. cans baby artichokes in water, drained and diced

1 ¼ cup favorite BBQ sauce

Assembly: toasted whole wheat buns, coleslaw

How (your directions):

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add sliced onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Add garlic, mushrooms, and diced artichokes.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.

Add favorite BBQ sauce and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring only occasionally to allow for caramelization.

Serve immediately on a warm, toasted whole wheat bun with ¼ cup of coleslaw!

Why (the science):  Mushrooms are a rich source of selenium and glutathione, antioxidants that lower inflammation in the body.

Easiest Vegan Chili

Easiest Vegan Chili is so easy and quick, you can make it on a weekday in 30 minutes!  It requires 5-8 minutes of hands on dicing or stirring, but the rest of the cooking time is leaving the chili to simmer.  Leftovers are wonderful, so this Vegan Chili also makes a nutritious meal prep recipe for lunches or dinners.  Store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 4 days.

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

½ teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon tomato paste

24-oz. can diced tomatoes

2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup water

How (your directions):

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.

Add yellow onion and salt, and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and tomato paste.  Sauté for 1 minute.

Add black beans, white beans, and water.  Bring to a low boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve immediately with your favorite chili toppings!

Why (the science):  Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied, while garlic and onion have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to boost your immune system.

Apple, Brie & Arugula Open Sandwich

We all need a meal up our sleeves that takes 5 minutes to throw together (but doesn’t look like we did).  I make this Apple, Brie & Arugula Open Sandwich for lunches or dinners when I’m in a pinch.  But even if I had all the time in the world to cook, this would still be a classic worth coming back too 😊

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 slices artisan bread (I use a seeded multigrain)

1 ounce brie

1 handful arugula

½ apple

1 teaspoon good olive oil

Salt and pepper

How (your directions):

Lightly toast the slices of bread.

While the bread is toasting, slice the ½ apple into thin slices.

When bread is done toasting, spread brie cheese onto each slice.  Top with arugula and slices of apples.

Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Voila!

Why (the science):  This sandwich might be the easiest way to eat your fruits and vegetables 😊

Red Lentil Stew

Red Lentil Stew is the ultimate cozy comfort food that is incredible for your immune system- between the garlic, ginger, leek, and lemon, Red Lentil Stew has several health boosting vitamins and antimicrobial properties!  It also makes a great meal prep recipe, as it stores well in the fridge for 3-4 days.  Inspired by my favorite food blogger’s (Sarah Britton’s) Four Corners Soup, this Red Lentil Stew is something to look forward to after a long day’s work 😊

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 leek, sliced into half-moons and rinsed

Pinch of salt

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

3 cups veggie broth

½ lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 cups spinach

To serve: slices of avocado or grated parmesan cheese and good olive oil

How (your directions):

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add coconut oil, sliced leek, and pinch of salt to the pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Add minced garlic, ginger, cumin, and cayenne pepper, sautéing for 1 minute.

Add crushed tomatoes, lentils, veggie broth, and lemon slices to the leek mixture.  Bring to a boil, then cover, lower heat to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until lentils reach desired texture.

Add maple syrup and taste for seasoning.  With the heat turned off, stir spinach into stew until wilted.

Serve hot with either sliced avocado, or a grating of parmesan cheese and drizzle of good olive oil.

Why (the science):  Lentils are a plant-based protein powerhouse, with 20 grams of protein per 1 cup!  That’s equivalent to about 3 oz of chicken breast.

Zucchini Tea Sandwiches

I love tea sandwiches- small, bite-size, dainty and perfect for tea…As a play on an old favorite (cucumber tea sandwiches), I love the idea of creating full size Zucchini Tea Sandwiches! It couldn’t be easier or quicker to cut zucchini into thin ribbons, layer them on toasty bread with cream cheese, and drizzle them with really good olive oil.  These are great for a very quick lunch, but would be beautiful to serve to a crowd on a wooden cutting board 😊

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 pieces whole wheat oat bread (or your favorite bread)

2 tablespoons cream cheese

1 small zucchini

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil, to serve

How (your directions):

Toast bread to desired doneness.  Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, slice zucchini into long, thin ribbons.

Once bread is toasted, spread one tablespoon of cream cheese (regular or vegan) onto each slice.

Layer the zucchini ribbons lengthwise across each slice.  Trim off crust (and eat!), then serve Zucchini Tea Sandwiches on a wooden cutting board.

Season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  Zucchini is rich in flavonoids, which means it can help slow down aging processes by neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals.

 

 

Hemp, Avocado, and Tomato Salad (For One!)

This salad is so yummy and refreshing, and full of heart healthy fats to keep you full!  And it only takes 5 minutes and 7 easily accessible ingredients to quickly slice, assemble, and drizzle 😊

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 cups butter lettuce and radicchio (I use a prewashed mix from Trader Joe’s)

10 cherry tomatoes

½ small ripe avocado

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar (the older, the sweeter)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of Crazy Jane’s Mixed Up Salt (or any seasoned salt- this one is a blend of garlic, onion, salt, and spices)

How (your directions):

Onto a large plate, place the 2 cups of butter lettuce and radicchio blend.

Slice cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise, then distribute evenly on top of the lettuce.

Slice a small, ripe avocado in half.  Using the half without the pit (save the half with the pit, covered, in the fridge for another time), remove the skin.  Place halved avocado cut-side down onto cutting board, then slice thinly.  Fan the avocado slices and place in the center of the salad.

Sprinkle hemps seeds over the salad, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Season to taste with a pinch of salt or seasoned salt.

Enjoy immediately!

Why (the science):  Hemp seeds are a rich source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  You can sprinkle hemp seeds on savory dishes (from salads to pastas to soups) and sweet dishes (top a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal for added crunch).

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

This luxuriously smooth Sweet and Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup is everything I want in a soup- incredible depth of flavor, bursting with nutrition, comforting.  I once had a soup at a restaurant like this, and fell in love with the sweetness of the soup that was also somewhat savory.  I hadn’t been able to recreate that balance of sweet and savory…until NOW!  This recipe is easy, quick, and can be made in advance.  Great meal prep option that lasts 3 days in the fridge 😊

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 5 minutes (30 minutes soaking cashews)

Cooking time: 20 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ red onion, chopped roughly

1 lb. carrots, chopped roughly

1 Gala apple, chopped roughly

½ granny smith apple, chopped roughly

Pinch of salt

1 garlic clove, minced

1 thumb size knob ginger, peeled and sliced

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of cayenne pepper

4 cups vegetable broth

To serve: Greek style almond yogurt, maple syrup, granola

How (your directions):

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil.  Add red onion, carrots, Gala and Granny Smith apples, and a pinch of salt.  Saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, lower heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are fork tender.

Transfer mixture to a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth (start blender on low speed and gradually increase speed to medium-high.  Always hold the lid of the blender secure and be careful of steam).

Enjoy hot!

Serve with a swirl or dollop of almond yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a spoonful of granola.

Why (the science):  Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory

 

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

When I think curry, I think anti-inflammatory, filling, comforting, scrumptious- and you’ll love this Cauliflower Chickpea version for all of those reasons.  Don’t be afraid of the list of ingredients, because you probably have most of them in your pantry already.  I like reserving a few spoonsful of the coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk, then dolloping on top of the hot curry and brown rice.  Or even better, a drizzle of protein-packed tahini adds creaminess and richness.  Yum!

Serves: 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ red onion, diced finely

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch of pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced finely

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

1-2 dashes cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 yellow pepper, diced

1 head of cauliflower, chopped or sliced into small florets

1 cup vegetable broth

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (San Marzano is best!)

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz can full fat coconut milk

How (your directions):

In a large Dutch oven or large Wok, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced red onion, salt, and pepper, sautéing for about 3 minutes, until translucent. 

Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Push onion and garlic mixture to one side of the Dutch oven or Wok, then add the coconut oil to the pan to melt.  Add curry, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper (optional) to the oil to release the fragrance of the spices and toast slightly. 

Add tomato paste, yellow pepper, cauliflower, broth, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and coconut milk (reserving a little coconut cream if desired for serving) and stir to combine.

Simmer on medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes.

Serve with brown rice and a drizzle of tahini.  Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy hot!

Why (the science):  Curcumin from turmeric may help prevent cognitive decline!  Check out this guide to boosting brain health here: https://onmilwaukee.com/living/articles/milwaukeean-brain-health.html

Cheesy Mexican Squash Casserole

Perfect for summer entertaining, Cheesy Mexican Squash Casserole serves 4-6 as a main course, or 8 as a side dish.  You can make this casserole in advance, then bake in oven right before serving.  The Cheesy Vegan Sauce is scrumptious, and your non-vegetarian friends will never know that there’s no cheese 😉

Serves: 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

What (your ingredients):

Vegan Cheese Sauce:

1 yellow onion, quartered

10 mini sweet peppers

¼ cup raw cashews

½ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup water

½ teaspoon salt

Squash Casserole:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 large yellow squash, sliced into half-moons

2 cups sweet corn

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups cooked brown rice

Parsley or cilantro for serving

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Make Vegan Cheesy Sauce by adding all ingredients to a high-speed blender.  Blend on high for 60 seconds until smooth.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add shallots and sauté for 1-2 minutes.  add garlic and a pinch of salt, sautéing for 30 seconds.

Add cumin and chili powder to the oil. Hint: This allows the spices to “bloom” and become fragrant.

Add sliced squash and sauté for 5 minutes.  add corn, black beans, pinto beans, stirring for 2 minutes until warmed through.

Add rice and Vegan Cheesy Sauce and stir to combine.

Pour casserole mixture into a 2-qt. baking dish.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Garnish with snipped parsley or cilantro.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy hot! 

Why (the science):  Dairy can be inflammatory in the body, causing bloating, gas, acne, and many other symptoms.  This Vegan Cheesy Sauce incorporates vitamin C rich peppers and anti-inflammatory onion!  The nutritional yeast provides B12 and that signature cheesy flavor. 

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Fig and Walnuts

Full disclosure: I’m always intimidated to make salads, because I worry that they won’t be near as good as what I can order from a nice restaurant.  But THIS is the recipe that changes everything! Easy? Check! Café-quality? Check! Elegant but fast to throw together? Check! Kale and Quinoa Salad with Fig and Walnuts will be your go-to “I’ll bring the salad” dish to show off to all your friends 😊

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 bunch kale, torn into pieces

1 tablespoon pomegranate balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons walnut pieces

2 dried figs, cut into small pieces

1 oz. goat cheese

1/3 cup quinoa, cooked

How (your directions):

Place kale pieces into a large bowl.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Massage the kale for 2-3 minutes.  Tip: Massaging kale allows it to become more tender and slightly sweeter!

Transfer salad to a plate, then top with walnuts, figs, crumbled goat cheese, and quinoa.

Enjoy immediately or the next day!

Why (the science):  Quinoa is a complete protein, making it a great replacement for brown rice and other starches!

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is a smart dish to encourage more vegetable intake, without feeling like you’re eating a bunch of vegetables😉 It’s a scrumptious sauce with lots and lots of fresh veggies, and I encourage you to use whatever you may have on hand.  Lentil pasta and cannellini beans up the protein significantly.  I serve this Pasta Primavera over fresh zucchini noodles to add even more vegetables and bulk to my pasta portion.

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 head broccolette, diced

¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of paprika

Pinch of salt

2 handfuls kale, chopped

1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 jar marinara sauce (I used a rich tomato sauce with Barolo wine)

12 oz. lentil Sedanini pasta (or any short pasta shape)

3 zucchini, spiralized

How (your directions):

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add red onion, bell pepper, broccolette, Italian seasoning, paprika, and salt.  Stir and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add chopped kale and sauté for 2 minutes.

Stir in cannellini beans and marinara sauce.  Heat through while pasta cooks, about 5-6 minutes.

Drain pasta and add to primavera sauce.

In each pasta bowl, place several curls of spiralized zucchini.  Ladle pasta and primavera sauce over fresh zucchini noodles.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  Lentil pasta is high in protein (13 grams protein per serving!) which makes it a nutritious way to enjoy pasta and reach satiety sooner than you would with a white pasta.

 

Acai Bowl with Vanilla Bean Granola |+Video|

Acai bowls can be expensive, unless you make them at home!  This recipe is inspired by one of my favorites in Charlottesville, VA but costs significantly less.  The vanilla bean granola is special- slightly chewy, but rich in flavor from the vanilla bean and cashews.  This recipe makes a lot of granola, which stores beautifully in an airtight container for a week.  What are your favorite acai bowl toppings?

Serves: 1 acai bowl, 10 servings granola

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

What (your ingredients):

Vanilla Bean Granola:

3 cups rolled oats

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup cashews

pinch of pink Himalaya sea salt

½ vanilla bean

Acai Bowl:

Handful of spinach

1 frozen banana

2 handfuls frozen mango

½ cup plant-based milk

2 tablespoons hemp protein powder

1 scoop greens powder with probiotics

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

For the vanilla bean granola, add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir until evenly distributed.

Pour mixture onto lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove granola from oven and allow to cool.

For the acai bowl, place all ingredients in a highspeed blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into bowl and top with favorite toppings (frozen blueberries, coconut flakes, chia seeds) and the vanilla bean granola!

Why (the science):  Acai is a trending “superfood,” but for good reason.  Rich in antioxidants to reduce inflammation, acai also contains heart-healthy fats.

Cauliflower Alfredo with Peas

I served this “alfredo” to my husband without revealing the true ingredients of the sauce and he believed it was real (parmesan and cream laden) alfredo!  No sir, just a humble cauliflower cooked until tender and blended with garlic and onion powder 😊  Husbands and kids will be tricked alike with this wonderfully easy alfredo pasta!  A drizzle of good olive oil gilds the lily.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

What (your ingredients):

I head cauliflower, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 oz. capellini pasta

¾ cup frozen peas

How (your directions):

Place cauliflower pieces into a large saucepan or pot and cover with water.  Bring to boil and cook for about 12 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork tender.  Tip: the cauliflower must be fork tender instead of al dente, so that it turns into a creamy sauce.

Meanwhile, boil salted water for pasta.

Ladle tender cauliflower into a high-speed mixer with about ¾ cup- 1 cup of cooking water.  Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Add cauliflower alfredo to dried pan and heat on low.

Cook capellini in boiling salted water for 3 minutes.  Strain cooked pasta and add to cauliflower alfredo.  Mix to evenly distribute sauce.

Add frozen peas to pasta, cover with lid, and heat on low for 10-12 minutes.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it provides powerful anticarcinogenic nutrients for our bodies.  What an incredibly versatile veggie, that it can pass as rice, pizza crust, and now alfredo sauce 😊

 

Pasta with Easy Mushroom Wine Sauce

Pasta with Easy Mushroom Wine Sauce is a dish that takes no more than 15-20 minutes to make!  The sauce is simple, but hearty and comforting.  The hardest part of this weeknight dinner is waiting for the water to boil 😊

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 8-oz. package mushrooms, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch

1/3 cup white wine or cava

1/3 cup water

Juice from ½ lemon

4 oz. pasta

Parsley, for garnishing

How (your directions):

Bring large pot of water to a boil with a spoonful of salt.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes.

When water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package instructions.

Once mushrooms begin to brown, add garlic and a pinch of salt.  Sauté for 2 minutes.

Add flour or cornstarch to mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.  Then slowly deglaze pan with wine or cava.  Add water and lemon juice and allow to thicken, about 2 minutes.

Drain pasta and serve with a ladle of mushroom wine sauce.  Garnish with parsley.

Enjoy immediately!

Why (the science):  Mushrooms are a great source of phosphorus, a critical nutrient for bone health and strength!

Easy Spaghetti Squash with Garlic-Infused Olive Oil | + Video |

It is so fun to twirl your fork through the long ribbons of a spaghetti squash.  This spaghetti squash recipe comes together quickly and requires only 5 ingredients!  Easy Spaghetti Squash with Garlic-Infused Olive Oil will become your favorite recipe for Italian Night at your home 😊

Serves: 2

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 spaghetti squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic

Pinch red pepper flakes

Pinch dried oregano

Salt to taste

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, then scoop out seeds and stringy center.  Tip: Don’t toss the seeds!  Watch this video to see how I easily separate the seeds from the flesh and roast them to perfection.

Place spaghetti squash cut side up on a baking sheet, then roast in oven for 40 minutes.

When squash is tender and a fork can easily pierce through the center, remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes.

During that time, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Thinly slice garlic clove and add to hot oil.  Allow to cook 1-2 minutes until garlic slices are slightly softened.

After the squash has cooled, use a fork to separate strands into spaghetti-like ribbons.

Spoon over the garlic and olive oil, then top with red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  Spaghetti squash, unlike pasta spaghetti, contain lutein and zeaxanthin which can help protect your eyesight as you age!

Grilled Plum Salad with Walnuts and Aged Balsamic | + Video |

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

What (your ingredients):

3 plums

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups arugula

3 tablespoons raw walnut pieces

2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze

How (your directions):

Heat grill pan over medium heat.

Slice each plum in half and remove the stone (pit).  Using a pastry brush or baster, brush olive oil onto cut side of plum and place onto grill.

Repeat process with remaining plum halves.

Grill plums for 10 minutes.  If desired, flip plums and grill on second, rounded side for an additional 5 minutes.  This will yield a sweeter and softer grilled plum.

Plate arugula, then top with 3 grilled plum halves.  Sprinkle with walnuts and a drizzle of aged balsamic.

Enjoy immediately!

Why (the science):  Plums are a good source of soluble fiber, meaning that prunes slow the rate of digestion.  The result?  Feeling fuller, longer!

 

Marinated Summer Green Bean Salad

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 4 hours of marinating

What (your ingredients):

1 lb. fresh summer green beans

1 lb. cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon excellent extra virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon champagne white vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or a spicy brown mustard works well too)

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

How (your directions):

In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil with a pinch of salt.  Place fresh green beans into boiling water and set a timer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and set aside.  Once beans are cooked, immediately transfer to the ice bath (blanching stops the cooking process and prevents the bright green color from fading or changing to a greyish-olive color).

While the beans sit in the ice bath, prepare the marinade.

In a large serving bowl, combine olive oil, champagne white vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until combined.

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and place in marinade.

Using tongs, transfer the green beans to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss until well combined and the marinade has coated each vegetable.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serve cold or room temperature as a side to your favorite summer entrée!

Why (the science):  Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K, one of the fat-soluble vitamins, and is important for proper blood clotting.  Each cup of green beans provides more than 20% of your daily vitamin K needs!

Eggplant and Mushroom Bolognese

This bolognese recipe is my new favorite pasta creation, because it really has the flavor and texture of a classic Italian meat sauce.  Mushrooms and eggplant are often used to replace meat, so when they are diced finely and sautéed with Italian seasoning, the result is a phenomenal sauce that you’ll love more than the meat version!  Don’t leave out the tomato paste, as it creates a richness in flavor that can’t be missed!

Serving Size: 4 portions

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ large yellow onion, finely diced

Dash of salt

1 eggplant

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 8.oz package baby bella mushrooms

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Cracked black pepper to taste

1 jar favorite tomato sauce

4 oz. spaghetti

How (your directions):

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously (pasta water should taste like the saltiness of the ocean).

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large fry pan over medium heat and sauté onions with a pinch of salt until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.

Cut eggplant into a small dice and add to onions.  Push onions and eggplant to one side of the fry pan.  Add the tomato paste directly to the heat and allow to cook for one minute.  Then, stir all ingredients together and continue to sauté.

Add spaghetti to boiling, salted water and cook to al dente or 1 minute shorter than package instructions (about 7 minutes).

Finely dice the mushrooms and add to vegetable mixture.  Add Italian seasoning, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using.

When mushrooms have browned, add jar of your favorite tomato sauce and reduce heat to low.

Add 1 ladle of pasta water to sauce before draining water (the starch of pasta water thickens the sauce).

Serve the eggplant and mushroom Bolognese over spaghetti with a drizzle of olive oil and a few basil leaves.

Bon appétit!

Why (the science):  Did you know that eggplant can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol!?

Mexican Veggie Hash

One of my favorite brunch items to order is a potato hash with eggs, so when I decided to make hash at home, I was surprised at how easy it is to create!  What makes a hash extra awesome is that you can use any combination of veggies you have in your kitchen 😊  I like to serve mine with a squeeze of lime, half of an avocado with sea salt, and a perfectly fried egg.  Hash makes great leftovers for work or school the next day- just serve over rice, or fill a few tacos with the hash and a sprinkle of cheese.

What (your ingredients):

4-5 Yukon gold potatoes

1 large sweet potato

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 red onion

1 green bell pepper

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon cumin

Pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper

Toppings: avocado or guacamole, salsa, lime, fried egg, cilantro, cheese, etc.

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Grease 2 large baking sheets with oil or line with a silicone mat.  Set aside.

Using the dicing blade on a food processor, or using a sharp knife, dice the potatoes into a small dice, keeping the dice size consistent for even roasting.

Toss potatoes with 1 teaspoon olive oil and evenly distribute between the 2 baking sheets.

Roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced red onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  add bell pepper and sauté an additional 5 minutes.

When potatoes have finished roasting, add potatoes to the fry pan.  Add black beans, cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Press mixture firmly so that a golden crust can form on the hash (like making a crunchy paella).

Serve hot with your favorite toppings- I highly recommend avocado and a fried egg so that the yolk can act as a sauce!

Why (the science):  Potatoes and beans create a complete protein, meaning that this dish can be vegan (skip the egg) and you still get all 13 of the essential amino acids your body needs!