What do you guys include in your weekly meal prep sessions? A couple protein sources, roasted veggies, and a big batch of grains are key. But how do you make your meals super flavorful and eliminate boredom as the week progresses? Sauces and dressings! I love to include one or two different sauces in my weekly recipe round up. It may seem intimidating, but you really can make your favorite peanut sauce at home in less than 10 minutes. I sometimes even wait until the night I cook a meal to whip up a sauce to go with it.
Why make your own sauces, instead of buying them pre-made? Making your own sauces/dressings at home is empowering from a nutrition standpoint, as it allows you to control exactly what ingredients you’re adding. You can eliminate pro-inflammatory oils, excess added sugars and preservatives.
I currently have a batch of mustardy champagne vinaigrette and this delicious Green Goddess Tahini Sauce in my fridge. This is the first time I’ve made this sauce, and Ben and I can’t get enough! It’s wonderful used as a dressing for kale salads and drizzled over roasted veggies. It would also be a great dipping sauce for homemade falafel or sweet potato fries. There are only a few simple ingredients, and all you do is add them to a blender! I created the recipe in my NutriBullet Balance blender and smartphone app, which calculated the nutrition information in real time! So, so easy.
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup smooth tahini
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Drizzle over just about anything!
This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. If you make it, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see you creations! 🙂
Daylight savings time is when the changing seasons really hits me. The days are getting shorter as the temperature drops. I actually like the first few weeks after we change the clocks, because I enjoy waking up when the sun is rising. But I know in about a month, I’ll be wondering daily why I live on the East Coast (anyone in California looking for a winter roommate)?
My body starts craving warming flavors and hot foods around this time, too. Some of my favorite spices to cook with in the fall and winter are ginger, curry, and cinnamon (and this soup uses all of these)! This recipe is super simple but filling, thanks to the addition of lentils. Lentils are a legume, and come in many different varieties. They are such a wonderful ingredient, and I find they don’t always get the attention they deserve! They are a great source of plant based protein, and are rich in nutrients like folate and manganese. Plus, they are extremely inexpensive. I’m often asked how I can spend so little on groceries each week and still eat well. A plant based diet actually lends itself perfectly to eating on a budget, because vegetarian protein sources are generally less expensive than animal proteins. Some of my other favorite affordable vegetarian proteins are chickpeas, black beans, tofu and eggs.
I used red lentils in this recipe because the cook quickly. They also soften quite a bit when cooked, which helps to thicken the soup’s consistency. If you’d like to keep a thicker broth, I’d recommend not substituting another lentil variety in this recipe. From start to finish, this soup only took about 30 minutes to make! If you’re looking for the coziest soup to warm up to after work, this recipe also is excellent to meal prep!
Cauliflower has definitely become the most loved vegetable of our generation. We’re adding it to smoothies and turning it into rice and pizza crust. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have 8 bags of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi stashed away in my freezer. As a dietitian, this hardcore vegetable love makes me VERY happy! You guys know I’m a huge proponent of a plant-based diet, so the more veggies, the better!
Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Other members of this squad include broccoli, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Cruciferous veggies are loaded with nutrients including vitamin C, folate and vitamin K. In fact, one cup of cauliflower has the same amount of vitamin C as an orange! Folate is an especially important nutrient for prenatal and pregnancy nutrition, as adequate amounts are protective against neural tube defects in babies.
While I absolutely love all the creative ways cauliflower is finding its way onto our plates, I also love cooking it straight up and letting it shine just as nature intended! I often include a big pan of simply seasoned roasted cauliflower for meal prep. I recently was asked to bring some vegetables as a side dish to a holiday party, and I wanted to bring a dish that was a little more “dressed up”. I had just gotten some great curry powder, so decided to use that for flavor inspiration. I landed on this curry turmeric cauliflower and added in golden raisins and parsley to round out the dish. I think it’s a great dish for fall and winter, because it’s full of warming spices. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving!
1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated on microplane
1 clove garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional: soak raisins in hot water while cauliflower cooks to make them more plump and softer)
2-3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place cauliflower florets on large baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil, and toss with ginger, garlic, lemon zest, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper.
Roast for 25-35 minutes until fork tender and nicely browned.
In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with raisins and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I hope you guys give this recipe a try! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂
Thank you So Delicious for sponsoring this post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.
Happy Tuesday! I’m proposing we include #QuesadillaTuesday to be bundled with #TacoTuesday from here on out. Quesadillas are so simple, and often overlooked, but are equally as delicious. I believe that Mexican food in any form is always a good idea! I love this cuisine not only for the flavorful dishes, but also because there is an abundance of plant-based ingredients. Mexican cuisine incorporates some of the most nutritious foods on the planet, including fresh vegetables, avocados and beans. It is easy to please people with a variety of dietary needs with Mexican food, from paleo to gluten-free to vegan.
To further celebrate the beauty of a plant-based diet, I used So Delicious dairy free shreds in this recipe. The cheddar jack flavor added the perfect kick of heat to these quesadillas. These shreds look and feel like the real thing, and melt beautifully! This dairy-free cheese is an amazing alternative for those who can’t, or choose not to consume dairy products – or for anyone looking for a delicious product. I also love that these shreds are lower in saturated fat than their dairy-containing counterparts.
Following a plant-based doesn’t mean you have to eat salads for every meal. There are so many delicious alternatives out there so you can include your favorite foods. These quesadillas contain just a few simple ingredients, and you can whip up this recipe in just 10 minutes. The recipe is below, if you’d like to try!
2 whole wheat flour tortillas
¼ cup So Delicious Dairy Free Cheddar Jack Shreds
1/3 cup vegetarian refried pinto beans
½ an avocado, peeled and sliced
Handful of baby spinach
Avocado oil spray
Preheat a skillet on medium heat.
Sprinkle cheese shreds on one half of each quesadilla. Add layers of spinach and avocado slices.
Spread refried beans onto the other half of the quesadilla, and fold each in half.
Spray skillet with avocado oil spray. Add quesadillas to skillet, cooking for about 3 minutes until tortilla is browned and crispy. Flip and cook other side until browned.
Serve immediately with hot sauce, salsa, extra avocado, etc.
What’s on your Fall To-Do List? Things I want to accomplish this season include apple picking, drinking tea, lots of baking, reducing clutter in my home and making warming breakfasts on chilly mornings. You guys know I usually love to have a hot bowl of oatmeal, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I had French toast. It seems to be a bit overshadowed by pancakes and waffles these days! I wanted to give this old-school recipe a grown up, healthy makeover. My only stipulation was that the toast slices had to be THICK.
I used my favorite whole wheat sourdough for the bread in this recipe. I love this bread because 1) it contains whole wheat flour, which is rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins and fiber, and 2) the sourdough fermentation process reduces phytic acid levels, which therefore allows these important nutrients to be more easily absorbed. I also replaced regular dairy milk with Elmhurst's newUnsweetened Milked Walnuts™. Elmhurst® has become my favorite milk alternative to use for all my recipes. Their unsweetened varieties have just 2 ingredients – nuts and water! This is hard to find, as a majority of milk alternatives on the shelves these days contain added gums and stabilizers. Elmhurst’s unsweetened varieties are the closest thing to homemade, and I feel good about putting them in my body. If you’d like to try Elmhurst, you can find many of their products at Whole Foods, andhere is their store locator. You can also have any of their varieties delivered right to your door when you order off theirwebsite!
This French toast was a rich, decadent treat on a chilly fall morning, but I felt good about eating it because of the ingredients I chose! The sautéed cinnamon apples really took this stack to the next level - don’t leave them out!
5 slices of whole wheat sourdough bread, sliced about 1 inch thick
2-3 tbsp butter, ghee or cooking oil of choice
Heat butter or oil for apples over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add apples and cinnamon, stirring occasionally until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a separate large skillet on medium heat with 1 tbsp butter or oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together Milked Walnuts, egg, cinnamon, maple syrup and salt. Transfer to a shallow dish.
Working in batches as not to crowd the skillet, soak both sides of bread slices. Cook each side for 3-5 minutes until nicely browned and tender. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add more butter/oil as needed between batches.
Serve stack of French toast topped with cinnamon apples, a drizzle of maple syrup and nut butter (optional, but extra delicious).
This recipe serves 2-3 depending on how big the slices of toast are. It kept me full for hours! If you guys try this recipe, tag@Elmhurst1925 and@daisybeet on Instagram 🙂
Hands up if you’re and peanut butter and jelly fan! I’ve always loved this classic combination. It’s the ideal two minute meal for beach days, hikes and quick breakfasts. It’s the perfect play on that salty/sweet flavor combo paired with a creamy and jammy texture. Let’s be real, though…pretty much anything tastes amazing when paired with peanut butter!
Conventional jams and jellies you find on the shelves have added sugars. This is partially necessary to increase shelf life, as sugar acts as a preservative and inhibits bacterial growth. And while all fruits/fruit products inherently have sugar in them, the naturally occurring sugar in fruit is nothing to shy away from. Fruit is full of nutritional benefits, including important vitamins and fiber. The fiber in fruit slows down the digestion and eventual release of its sugars into the bloodstream, so it won’t cause a speedy spike in blood glucose the way refined sugars do. If you’re trying to limit added sugars in your diet, preparing this homemade jam is an easy place to start!
This jam takes about 10 minutes to make, and will last in the fridge for about a week. You can customize the size of the recipe, too. If you don’t think you’ll use a whole jar in one week, cut the recipe in half! It’s so versatile – I use it on toast, in my oatmeal, and even as a compote on pancakes. Heating up the berries really coaxes out the natural sweetness of the fruit, so you’ll find you won’t even miss the added sugars. You can use any kind of frozen berries in this recipe – I’ve used blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.
Heat a large shallow pan over medium heat. Add frozen berries and chia seeds, and stir to combine.
Stir occasionally until berries are broken down and mixture begins to thicken, about 5-10 minutes. You may need to break up larger pieces of fruit with your mixing spoon as they soften for a more even texture.
Note: If using only frozen blueberries, you will need to add about ¼ cup of water to the recipe, as blueberries do not break down and release their liquid as much as other berries.
Have you guys made chia jam before? What is your favorite berry combination? If you try this recipe, make sure to tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂
More often than not, my lunch is a big salad I throw together with some crunchy raw veggies, a protein source, avocado and leftover grains/cooked veggies. It’s a filling, satisfying and quick meal, but sometimes I just crave a good SANDWICH. This craving hit last week after an active morning of a leg workout followed by a hike, and I came home starving. I wanted to refuel my body with some more substantial carbohydrates, and a heartier meal, so this sandwich came to mind.
Even before I was interested in nutrition, I was never a fan of mayonnaise. Potato salad, macaroni salad and egg salad never really appealed to me. I also remember portioning out mayonnaise into single size serving cups when I worked at a restaurant and being completely grossed out! While I don’t count calories, traditional mayonnaise packs a lot with little nutritional value in comparison. I love to swap out more nutritious options for mayonnaise in my cooking. Plain Greek yogurt is a great option for sauces, spreads and dips – like in my Spicy No Mayo Slaw for tacos. Mashed avocado is also an amazing swap when you need something creamy and thick! Avocado is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as other important nutrients like potassium and fiber.
This egg salad recipe has just 5 ingredients: eggs, avocado, lemon juice, garlic salt and Dijon mustard. You won’t find pro-inflammatory oils, excess added sugars or sodium here! If you have hard boiled eggs already prepped, it takes just 2 minutes to make. This sandwich is an ideal combination of protein, healthy fats, fiber and carbohydrates, so it will keep you full all afternoon! Here’s how to make it, if you’d like to try.
Happy Taco Tuesday! Ben and I made these tacos for football Sunday when we had his brother over to watch the Patriot’s game (living with Ben = surrendering the TV every Sunday during football season). We had just come home from grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, where we picked up groceries for the week and a few staples to have on hand. I shared more details on my stories Sunday, but we ended up spending 98 dollars on our entire grocery haul. If we planned correctly, this will last us most of our meals for the week, for less than 50 dollars per person. I’m great at shopping and meal planning for myself, but including another person (who is larger than I am and therefore eats more food) in this weekly task is totally new to me. I’m lucky that Ben is not a picky eater and enjoys healthy and vegetarian meals, but I want to make sure he feels satisfied and fulfilled by what we are cooking each week. I see this as a new challenge to tackle together!
When planning meals for those with varied dietary restrictions and tastes, I find that “build your own” meals are a really good option. Preparing a bunch of different, simple sides is a great way to allow your guests to add ingredients to their meals based off of their preferences. Tacos are a great example, because you can prepare multiple add-ins, such as beans, different protein options, a few veggie options, guacamole, avocado, cheese, salsas and sour cream. Another easily customizable meal is build your own pizzas (provide regular/whole wheat/gluten free crust and a few options for sauces, cheeses, veggie and meat toppings). Your guests have more control over what they would like to eat, and the hands on process of customizing your meal can be really fun!
These tacos took 30 minutes or less to prepare. We made the shrimp, guacamole and slaw from scratch and, included pre-made pico de gallo and canned beans to make for a speedier meal. We enjoyed this meal as tacos for lunch during the game, then had leftovers in the form of taco salads for dinner. Because you can never have too many tacos!
Pre-made pico de gallo, canned beans and corn tortillas for serving
Prepare the slaw: In a small bowl, combine yogurt, hot sauce, taco seasoning, garlic salt and lime juice. Stir well to combine. Place cabbage and jalapeño in a mixing bowl, then toss with yogurt sauce. Set aside.
Prepare the guacamole: Place 3 avocado halves in a mixing bowl with garlic, cilantro onion, lime juice and salt. Mash well with a fork. Add in diced tomatoes plus the remaining avocado half, cubed. Stir to combine.
Prepare the shrimp: heat olive oil in frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add shrimp, Adobo seasoning and garlic salt. Stir occasionally until shrimp is fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
Heat tortillas in a frying pan or oven (optional). Set all your prepared ingredients on the counter, and have your guests build their own tacos!
I hope you guys give this easy taco recipe a try! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂
The past few days, it has begun to really feel like late summer. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few weeks with my family on Martha’s Vineyard, and we are experiencing shorter days, less humidity, and cooler temperatures. Before we know it, fall will be rolling around – including pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.
Until then, I am soaking up every last bit of summer I can! Of course, this includes all my favorite summer foods. I’m loving watermelon, tomatoes, basil and peaches. I’ve been filling my plate with an abundance of this fresh produce, but I’ve also been treating myself to some less nutritious treats. One of my absolute favorites to indulge in during the summer is fresh baked zucchini bread from a local farm here on the Vineyard. It’s something that reminds me of my childhood, and I can’t help but reach for a slice when I’m on island.
These zucchini bread pancakes were inspired by my favorite zucchini bread, but without refined grains and excess added sugar. They are super moist and hearty, just like my favorite slice of zucchini bread! I used Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Hazelnuts ™ in this recipe, as this has become my favorite milk alternative to use daily. I truly believe that when it comes to food, simpler is better, and Elmhurst® shares this same mindset. Their nut and grain milks all contain six ingredients or less, and their unsweetened varieties have just two. They also do not use any added gums or emulsifiers, which is rare to find in milk alternatives! Plus, Elmhurst plant milks have a super smooth consistency and taste creamier than other plant milks I have tried. They have 10 different varieties, including unsweetened and lightly sweetened choices. I’ve been itching to try their Chocolate Milked Peanuts – how delicious does that sound?! You can find Elmhurst products at Whole Foods, and here is the store locator! They also deliver any of their varieties if you order through their website.
If you guys are holding on summer like I am, these pancakes are for you!
1 and ¼ cup oat flour (use a blender to make this out of rolled oats)
1 tbsp maple syrup, plus more for serving if desired
½ cup frozen raspberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp chia seeds
Butter, coconut oil or cooking spray for pan
Using a paper towel or clean dish towel, squeeze out excess moisture from grated zucchini
In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together egg, hazelnut milk, lemon zest and maple syrup
Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir to combine
Fold in grated zucchini until mixture is well combined. Add more hazelnut milk as needed if batter is very thick
In a cast iron skillet or frying pan, heat butter/oil/cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon batter into pan, using about 1/3 cup
Cook pancakes until edges begin to brown, then flip, after 2 minutes or so
While pancakes are cooking, prepare the berry compote: combine frozen berries and chia seeds in a shallow pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until berries are cooked down and mixture begins to thicken
Serve pancakes while still warm with a generous pile of berry compote and a drizzle of maple syrup.
This recipe makes about 10 pancakes.
I hope you guys give this recipe a try! If you make these zucchini bread pancakes, I’d love to see how they turn out! Tag @Elmhurst1925 and @daisybeet on Instagram 🙂
Lately, I’ve been traveling a lot on the weekends. I’ve had a few trips in the past few months, plus visiting my boyfriend, friends and family in Boston. I’ve been away from home pretty much every other weekend. If this were one year ago, all this traveling would have totally stressed me out. I was still in my Dietetic Internship and school, and my schedule was dictated by my preceptors. Since my days were jam-packed with internship and homework, I made sure I was extremely organized with meal prepping. I was on a budget, so eating out every night was not an option! While I still love to meal prep and enjoy cooking and eating a majority of my meals at home, I’ve learned to manage better if Sunday evening rolls around and I am just getting back to the city.
One of my biggest tips for being able to prepare a nutritious meal after coming home from traveling is to stock your pantry with a few staples at all times. In particular, frozen vegetables are a lifesaver! They can be added to stir fries, pasta, or even just rice and beans to finish off a perfectly balanced meal. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious (if not more so) than fresh vegetables. Frozen veggies are picked and then frozen at peak ripeness, preserving their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the process.
I’ve probably made my cauliflower fried rice dish 10 times over the past few months. It’s become my go-to meal when I didn’t have time to batch cook for the week, because I use frozen cauliflower rice, eggs, and seasonings which I always have on hand. I like to pick up a few extra veggies to throw into the mix for color and variety, but this dish already has loads of veggie goodness thanks to the cauliflower rice! You can even add other frozen veggies to this dish if you don’t have time to pick up anything fresh – think peas, carrots and broccoli.
Staying on track with healthy eating when you’re frequently on the go can be a big challenge. A little planning ahead by stocking your kitchen with some essentials will save you time, money and catapult you towards your health and wellness goals! I would love to hear your tips + tricks for staying on track when you’re frequently away from home.
½ tbsp avocado oil or other cooking oil
½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup broccoli florets
½ cup sliced bell pepper
½ cup sliced summer squash
1 cup frozen cauliflower rice
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
½ tsp sambal olek paste (or a shake of red chili flakes)
1 large handful fresh greens, like spinach, bok choy or kale
2 large eggs
Small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
Sesame seeds, for garnish
In a medium cast iron skillet or frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Add ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring so garlic does not burn.
Add broccoli, bell pepper and summer squash (or any fresh veggies you are using) to pan. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring until veggies are mostly cooked through.
Push veggies to the side of the pan with a spatula. Add cauliflower rice to the empty side of the pan plus the lime juice, soy sauce, and sambal olek. Stir into cauliflower rice to combine. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, then mix cauliflower rice into the rest of the veggies in the pan.
Add greens and stir to combine until wilted.
Push cauliflower rice to one side of the pan.
In a small bowl, whisk the two eggs together.
Spray the empty side of the pan with cooking spray, then pour in eggs. Scramble with a spatula, then mix scrambled eggs in with the cauliflower rice.
Transfer to a bowl or plate. Top with cilantro, avocado, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Enjoy immediately!
This meal is great because it:
Utilizes pantry staples when you don’t have time to shop
Is extremely customizable, as you can use whatever veggies (fresh or frozen) you have on hand
Takes less than 20 minutes to make
Is super flavorful and tastes DELICIOUS!
I hope you guys give this a try! If you make this cauliflower rice, I’d love to see how it turns out! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram 🙂