My Tested and Approved Green Smoothie

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As many of you know, I am a juicer. I love to juice every morning and when I am traveling or away from home, I definitely miss my green juice. Green smoothie’s seem to be a bit easier to find while traveling (although you usually have to modify quite a bit!) so I decided to give them a shot at home and have my green juice as an afternoon snack. I’m actually pleasantly surprised with how much I have come to enjoy the morning smoothie and how satisfying it is. I usually eat something alongside my morning juice but just the smoothie seems to keep me going all morning long…. 

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Breakfast Break: Top FLB Breakfast Foods

Breakfast is one of my favorite parts of the day, especially when I get to enjoy it slowly. I always begin my day with a homemade green juice but  generally want a little something in addition to that. Here is a list of my favorite FLB breakfast dishes, some a little on the sweeter side (but still healthy of course) and others a little more savory. Click on the links below the pictures to get directed to the recipe!

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Green Juice

Raw Veggie Taco

Open Faced Veggie Taco… 

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Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

Eggplant Parmesan CasseroleI had been eyeballing this dish for a while and given the fact that I just had some delicious leftovers for lunch, I am happy I tried it!!!

This gives you the feel of a lasagna but is lighter as it has less cheese and no noodles. I got the original recipe from Martha but of course modified it to add a few extra veggies in :).

I hope that you enjoy it!

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Olive oil, for baking sheets
  • 2 large eggs (can use egg replacer for a vegan version)
  • ¾ cup plain dry breadcrumbs, more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 large eggplants (2½ pounds total), peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) homemade or store-bought chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced (approximately 2 cups)
  • 10 oz kale or spinach or combination of both
  • 4 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella or parmesan or a combination (can use non dairy cheese for a vegan version)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a pan, add onion and cook until fragrant. Add mushrooms and kale or spinach and cook until greens wilt. Set aside.
  4. One eggplant is done, spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then the mushroom mixture. Add 2 more cups of sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, then sprinkle with basil and mozzarella. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

Vegan Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini

About 90% of the time I go out to dinner I want Italian food, so I love love love to experiment with healthy Italian dishes at home. I made this tonight and have a ton of leftovers… anyone want to come over?! I got the recipe from Veggie Belly but of course adapted it to make it my own. It was quite simple and very tasty. It will definitely fulfill your desire for a tomato sauce dish (which I love)!

Vegan Eggplant Rollatini
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided into 2 Tbsp portions
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut lengthwise into ¼th inch thick strips
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup couscous, uncooked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 12 oz spinach
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil or parsley
  • 1½ cups marinara sauce, use more if you like it saucy
  • ¾ cups of shredded mozzarella (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the couscous according to package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Pan fry the strips on 2 Tbsp olive oil till both sides are golden.
  4. In a separate pan, heat remaining oil and cook onion until fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add spinach and garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender and spinach is wilted.
  5. Add cooked couscous to mushroom and spinach mixture.
  6. Place a spoon of the the couscous mixture on one end of an eggplant piece, and roll it. Repeat with all eggplant strips. Place the stuffed and rolled eggplants onto a baking dish. Add any left over couscous to the center of the baking dish. Sprinkle basil or parsley on top. Then pour marinara sauce over. Non vegans can add ¾ cups of shredded mozzarella.
  7. Bake till the sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes.

 

 

Spinach, Mushroom and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

This is the perfect recipe for hosting a brunch. It is super simple and you can tend to all your other responsibilities while it is cooking. I planned a surprise 30th birthday for my husband this past weekend where 14 friends stayed at a house in Santa Barbara and this was the perfect (and much needed) treat on Saturday morning. We ended up using the garlic bread that was left over from dinner the night before, which added a nice little touch. You can swap or add any veggies you like to this dish!

Spinach, Mushroom and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole
 
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Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 10 cups French bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 16 oz spinach
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cans (12 oz) chopped green chiles, drained
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • Guacamole, salsa and cilantro, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put the cubes of French bread in the pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion, mushrooms and spinach to the pan and cook until browned and softened. Set aside in a bowl and add in the green chiles and stir all to combine. Pour the mixture over the bread in the baking dish, distributing as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture on top, making sure the bread all gets saturated by the egg mixture. (Use your hands to press the bread down into the liquid to make sure it is all saturated, if desired.)
  4. Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Serving Suggestion: You can cover the dish with foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight if you want to make ahead of time!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Black Quinoa is a fun alternative to normal quinoa as it gives your dish a fun look. I made this the other night for my book club and the first compliment I got was on how good it smelled (thanks Alli) followed by several compliments on the taste. It is super easy to make for a big group and most importantly can be made ahead of time which is great when you are entertaining! You can find my homemade pesto recipe here.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry black quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1½ – 2 cups pesto (more if needed)
  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  • ¾ cup feta cheese (omit of looking for a vegan version)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Olive oil (drizzle as needed)
Instructions
  1. Combine the water and quinoa in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Fluff with a fork and add stir in spinach while quinoa is still warm. Stir in pesto once spinach is mixed in.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Add quinoa and basil and mix well. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on top and add feta cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss everything together. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving.
  4. Serving suggestion: Can use any combo of veggies bell pepper, olives, zucchini, etc.

Recipe modified from Eat, Live, Run.

Spanakopita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Spanikopita

I’ve tried a couple of different variations of Spanakopita and this blending of several is what I have found to be my favorite. This is absolutely one of those foods where you can taste the freshness of it being homemade, it is worth every effort. Get ready for pure deliciousness!

For updated recipes and photos, head over to The Simple Kitchen!

Spanakopita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
 
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Serves: 30 triangles
Ingredients
  • Yogurt Sauce
  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill or 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped (or both, depending on preference)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Spanakopita
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-4 shallots, diced
  • 2 packages of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (can use vegan version or olive oil)
  • ½ pound phyllo pastry sheets
Instructions
  1. To make yogurt sauce, peel cucumbers and dice. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt (draws water out). Cover with a plate and sit something heavy on top. Let sit for 30 minute Drain well and wipe dry with a paper towel.
  2. In food processor or blender, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir into yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. *This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.
  3. Remove spinach from package and squeeze out excess liquid, then chop roughly. Heat 2-3 Tbsp of the oil in a large saute pan, and add shallots and scallions and saute until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the mixture, along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. (This part can be done ahead and kept refrigerated).
  4. Stir the feta and as much beaten egg to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
  6. Unroll the phyllo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out and become brittle. Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and recover with the towel. Use 3-4 pieces of phyllo dough and use a pastry to brush the top strip of phyllo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.
  7. Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)

 

Open Face Veggie Taco

Raw Veggie Taco

This is something that I have almost daily. Most of you will think it is a weird breakfast item but I got in the habit of having a ton of veggies for breakfast when I did a 10 day challenge and haven’t gone back since. I used to always make this  on bread which is very yummy but there is something incredibly delicious about a corn tortilla!!!

Open Face Veggie Taco
 
Cook time
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Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp hummus
  • ½ avocado, sliced lengthwise
  • Handful of spinach leaves
  • ¼ cucumber, sliced in thin rounds
  • 1 tomato, thinly slices (I prefer heirlooms if they are in season)
  • Olive/Flax oil
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Salt
  • Handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • Sprouts
Instructions
  1. Lightly toast the corn tortillas over the burner. Be on careful watch here!
  2. Layer ingredients in order starting with hummus and ending with tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and salt and then garnish with basil and sprouts. Serve open faced and eat with fork and knife!

 

Vegetable and White Bean Stew

Vegetable and White Bean Stew

I will always give credit where credit it due. I work until 8 on Mondays, so that is my husband’s night to cook. He whipped this one up and it was awesome. However, the real credit goes to Jules of Stone Soup. Thanks Jules!

Average Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

2 cans (14oz) white kidney beans

2 cans diced tomatoes

4 medium zucchini, sliced

2 Tbsp smoked paprika

1 bag washed baby spinach

Directions

1. Place beans and their canning liquid, tomatoes and their juices, zucchini and paprika in a large saucepan.

2. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes or until the zucchini is soft.

3. Add spinach and continue to cook, stirring until the spinach is just wilted. About 1 minute.

4. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

5. Sever drizzled with peppery olive oil.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over quinoa, rice, cous cous or with your favorite bread or pita.