All tagged Spinach

Italian Inspired Egg Muffins

If you’re in search of a healthy, freezer-friendly meal prep recipe that can be enjoyed for on-the-go breakfasts or afternoon snack, then this recipe is for you!  Italian Inspired Egg Muffins freeze beautifully, but they also last in the fridge for 5 days.  Serve them with toast and fresh avocado, or serve with a salad for a light lunch.

Serves: 6-12 (1-2 egg muffins per serving)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

½ freshly grated parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

12 eggs

¼ cup unsweetened plant-based milk

Pinch of salt and pepper

How (your directions):

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with parchment paper muffin liners. 

In each muffin cup, add a tablespoon of chopped fresh spinach and a few pieces of diced tomato.

Sprinkle each muffin cup with Italian seasoning.

Top each muffin cup with 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese.

In a large Pyrex measuring cup, whisk eggs, plant milk, salt and pepper.

Distribute egg mixture evenly among the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Enjoy hot, room temperature, or even cold!

Why (the science):  Herbs are rich in antioxidants, so don’t skip the addition of Italian seasoning.  It adds both flavor and nutrition!

 

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.

Sweet Potato Nests

Sweet Potato Nests are one of the easiest breakfasts, and you only need a few ingredients to bring this veggie-packed meal together!  Protein and fiber keep you feeling energized and satisfied.  These Sweet Potato Nests would make a great dinner if short on time.

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 7 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 small sweet potato

1 egg

1 teaspoon olive oil

Pinch of: salt, garlic powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

How (your directions):

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.  Once water is boiling, add egg and set timer for 6.5-7 minutes.  Tip: Soft-boiled eggs last 2 days in the refrigerator, so make a few extra eggs and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Prepare a large bowl filled with cold water and ice, then set aside.

Meanwhile, using a food processor, grate the small sweet potato.

Heat frying pan over medium-high heat with the teaspoon of olive oil.  Add grated sweet potato (about 2 cups) to the oil, along with a pinch of salt, garlic powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes.

Stir grated sweet potato consistently for about 5 minutes.  Tip: If any grated sweet potato sticks to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water.

Once the egg has finished cooking, add immediately to ice water and allow to cool.  Peel the cooled egg.

To serve, add spinach to a plate and top with grated sweet potato.  Place peel egg in the center of the sweet potato “nest.”  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

Enjoy immediately!

Why (the science):  Most of a potato’s fiber is found in the skin!  Keep the skin on the sweet potato when grating to keep you fuller, longer.

Energy Boosting Smoothie (Banana-Free and Avocado-Free)

This Energy Boosting Smoothie is the perfect start to a busy day, providing you with steady, even energy without the crash!  The Swiss chard and spinach are packed with iron to deliver oxygen throughout your body, and the matcha contains ECGC, an anticancer nutrient.  This Energy Boosting Smoothie is also banana and avocado free, making it a fresh way to drink your greens.  Dates provide sweetness, but are low glycemic, meaning they won’t give you a sugar high.  Cheers!

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 cups cold water

5 Swiss Chard leaves

1 handful spinach

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

½ teaspoon matcha

2 dates, pits removed

2 handfuls ice

How (your directions):

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend on high for 45-60 seconds.

Enjoy immediately!

Why (the science):  Dates are loaded with potassium, an important electrolyte for regulating blood pressure.

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

There’s a reason pear and blue cheese salads are a classic- these salads are rich flavor while incredibly easy to make.  In fact, in 5 minutes (or less, if you are a quick pear slicer!), you can create this Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette.  This special salad is rich in heart-healthy omega-3’s and antioxidants.  Of course, the recipe can be extended for however many family members or guests you may be entertaining.  An elegant dish that any salad-hater will love 😊

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

Dijon Vinaigrette

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Pinch of salt and pepper

½ cup olive oil

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

2 handfuls spinach

½ ounce walnuts

½ pear, sliced paper thin

1-inch cube gorgonzola blue cheese, crumbled

Drizzle of Dijon Vinaigrette

How (your directions):

Prepare the Dijon Vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together.  Vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for future use.

To prepare salad, place a few handfuls of spinach onto a plate.  Then place sliced pears onto spinach a drizzle with Dijon Vinaigrette.

Sprinkle salad with walnut pieces and gorgonzola crumbles.

Enjoy immediately!

Why (the science):  Pears are rich in flavanols, which have been shown to play an important role in improving insulin sensitivity (which means your insulin is more controlled)!

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.