Last night we headed out to dinner at #JoseTejas in Fairfield, NJ for dinner after enjoying an open house event at #NewYorkRedBullsArena (however like so many NY teams, the stadium is in Jersey). The best part of eating out, for me at least, is reinventing my leftovers. I had the vegetable jambalaya, which surprisingly did not have beans. I added a #Gardein Chipotle Black Bean burger and a few tablespoons of salsa. Once plated, I added a 100 calorie pack of guacamole, fine, 2 of them. Oh, and I am one of those unique folks that dislikes plain cornbread and as much as I typically avoid wasting food, it was tossed. Totally better the second time around.
Last night we had some Japanese take away with friends for a fun, relaxing evening. After having an avocado brown rice roll, miso soup and a side salad, I was stuffed and ended up taking about half of my main meal of Vegetable Yaki Udon home. The best way to doctor it up so the smaller amount is actually filling? First, boil 3 oz each of frozen broccoli and spinach, 1/2 cup white beans, and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Once the broth has reduced and the vegetables are heated all the way through, throw in the leftover noodles and serve once heated completely. I prefer to reheat on the stove, but this totally works in the microwave.
Quick Tomato Stew
Serves 1, however can be made in bulk for multiple portions.
- 2 oz whole grain pasta
- 1 serving of frozen meatballs thawed (I usually use vegetarian or vegan, however choose 1 serving of your preferred “ball”)
- 1 cup of prepared tomato soup
- 3 oz frozen spinach
- 1/2 cup canned, rinsed beans (any variety)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 oz cheese (I tend to use rice cheese)
- Red pepper flakes, optional
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- If “ball” of choice is frozen, thaw according to package directions. I usually cook them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
- While pasta cooks, warm up the tomato soup until simmering.
- Add the spinach until thawed.
- Add the beans, soy sauce, cheese and red pepper flakes (if using) and continue to cook until heated thoroughly.
- Add cooked pasta, toss until combined.
This is one of my favorite additions I gained from meeting my husband. This rice porridge has become a comfort food for me on a rainy day (although not a favorite of his). I either make the base plain or get plain congee from my local Chinese restaurant. Pictured is plain congee (about 2 cups) I added to a field roast apple sage vegan sausage and 3oz of white button mushrooms sautéed in 1 tsp avocado oil and 1-2 tbsp soy sauce. If I am having it for dinner I usually add about 1/2 cup canned white beans.
I am always trying new recipes, however unless I am baking I never follow a recipe to the letter. I made this stew from a recipe I found on the Vegetarian Times website (search “spicy tofu stew”). I substituted about 1 lb. of sliced white button mushrooms for the spinach (added some broth to sauté them in at the beginning), used 1 sliced red, 1 orange and 1 orange pepper (about 2 cups), and added (at the end) 1 tbsp sesame paste, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp sesame oil. One night I served it over pasta one night over roasted potatoes. For the carnivores out there, feel free to add any cooked protein of choice (however the tofu was lovely all by itself). Enjoy!
Whole Wheat Orzo with Kale, Chickpeas and Tomato Cream Soup
The vegetables don't need to be chopped finely or perfectly, most will go in the blender anyway. Feel free to pass this along
Optional: My family enjoys this meal with sausage instead of the chickpeas. I just prepare the sausage in the toaster oven to bake while I make the soup and orzo. You could also opt to use any leftover over protein you may have in the refrigerator like tofu, beef, or chicken. I serve all the ingredients separately and let everyone make their own bowls with as much or as little as they would like.
- 16oz package of whole wheat orzo (I use Delallo Organic but feel free to use any other small shaped whole wheat pasta)
- 4 tbsp of Earth Balance Butter (however feel free to use regular butter or other butter substitute, ah, heck olive oil will do)
- 2 Celery Stalks, scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2-4 tbsp dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh basil (depends on how much basil you like, I go all in)
- 2 cups of vegetable broth (chicken broth will do)
- 2 cans of whole or crushed tomatoes (28 oz each can)
- 8 oz of vegan cream cheese (feel free to use regular cream cheese)
- 1-2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cook the whole wheat orzo according to package directions while you make the tomato cream.
- Melt the Earth Balance Butter over medium heat.
- Add the celery, onions and garlic and saute for approximately 5-6 minutes (add the salt and pepper here).
- Add the basil and broth.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the canned tomatoes and cream cheese.
- Puree the mixture with a food processor or blender (in batches) until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender, however remember it may have a chunkier consistency.
- Return to the stove and reheat on medium setting. Once the soup boils, add the kale and continue to heat until the kale wilts.
- To serve, plate approximately 3/4 cup of the cooked whole wheat orzo, 1/2 cup chickpeas and top with 1-2 cups of the tomato cream (add as much or as little as you would like).
My favorite recovery meal after any workout even before I started running?
- Frozen mixed berries (heavy on the blueberries): 140 grams
- Frozen mango chunks: 140 grams
- Ground flax seeds (24 grams)
- Unsweetened or vanilla flavored almond (1 cup or 240ml)
- Water to submerge ingredients (amount will vary
Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!
Mango Avocado Salad
It is that time of year again. Time for summer salads. Share often! I love making this recipe for parties because of all the bright and vibrant colors. It incorporates many of my favorite fruits and vegetables. It makes about 8 cups of dip. I usually save one cup to enjoy throughout the week. For example top 1/4 cup over a Veggie burger, have 1/4 cup over 1 slice wheat toast for breakfast or a snack, enjoy as a side dish, garnish over fish tacos, or use as a dip with tortilla chips, wheat crackers, rice chips, or a crusty sliced whole-wheat baguette.
Let me know if you make it at home.
- 2 mangos, cut into cubes
- 2 Haas avocados (if using organic Haas avocados you will need 4), cubed
- 1 medium sized red onion, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 6 cloves of garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- Juice of 2 limes (approximately 1/4 cup)
- Cilantro (1/2 cup packed), finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt (1/4 – 1/2 tsp maximum) and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours prior to serving (however can be served immediately).
- Serve with sturdy tortilla chips, wheat crackers, crusty bread or toast.