Featured

Zucchini Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

Ben and I took a quick trip to NYC last weekend to visit our family and friends. We went to the Guggenheim and out for dinner and drinks with a group of our NYC people. I love Boston and I know this is where I am meant to be right now, but a piece of me will always belong to New York. The energy there is palpable and unmatched to any city I’ve ever been to. We both have close friends there, and we’ve kind of made a promise to each other to visit when we can so we don’t lose touch with them. Even though we were there for less than 48 hours last weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine for a workout class and coffee date and it was like no time had passed. Those couple of hours we got to spend with each other meant a lot to me, and reiterated the importance of keeping in touch!

Besides friends, another part of NYC I miss is the FOOD. There are an endless number of amazing establishments I would kill to have open in Boston. We didn’t have time to hit up all of my favorites, but I got in plenty of good eats, including Levain cookies. When you’re staying 4 blocks away from the bakery, it’s a sin not to go! After a weekend indulging in cookies and wine, I was craving something light yet filling and super flavorful this week. We both love Mexican food, so I decided to try a lightened up version of enchiladas! These babies are stuffed with some of my favorites (sweet potato, black beans, spinach and red pepper) and wrapped in zucchini! Using zucchini in place of tortillas, the veggie filling and dairy free avocado cream sauce makes these enchiladas quite filling, but not to the point where you want to unbutton your pants and take a nap. There’s a time and a place for those decadent meals, but this recipe is totally what my body was craving!

You can absolutely use tortillas in place of zucchini for this recipe – it will just make fewer total enchiladas because the zucchini ones are smaller than usual. This recipe makes about 20 three-four inch long zucchini enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (red or white are both fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce, store bought or homemade. I made my own, adapted from Oh She Glows

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 1 ½ avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. If making enchilada sauce: Heat oil over medium heat and stir in corn starch until mixture starts to thicken. Add spices, stir to mix and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, vegetable broth and salt. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a medium pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add diced sweet potatoes, return water to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until fork tender, then drain.
  4. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel zucchinis into long strips. The first couple strips might be too thin to roll, so you can discard them or use them for another recipe.
  5. For the filling, heat avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper, cooking another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in spinach, sweet potatoes and black beans and cook until spinach is wilted. Stir in heaping ½ cup of enchilada sauce, then remove from heat.
  6. Spread ¾ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.
  7. Prepare the enchiladas: take 3 zucchini strips and lay them together on a clean cutting board, so that they overlap with each other and make a rectangle. Place about ¼ cup of the veggie filling and roll up to enclose filling. Place in baking dish, with the seam side down.
  8. Repeat until pan is full – I made 2 rows of enchiladas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of enchiladas.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is a little bubbly.
  10. While enchiladas are baking, prepare the avocado cream sauce: add all ingredients to a food processor or blender (I used a NutriBullet) and blend until creamy. Add water 1 tbsp at a time as needed to help blend.
  11. Remove enchiladas from oven. Top with avocado cream sauce before serving, along with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

If you guys make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Chickpea + Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

The holiday season is in full force! Hanukkah began Sunday evening, and Christmas is just a few weeks away. I feel extremely grateful this year to be in Boston, so I don’t have to miss out on spending time with family. Both my parents and Ben’s live in the area, so we’re able to celebrate with everyone.

One thing I’m looking most forward to is helping my mom prepare everything for Christmas Eve and Christmas. I already spent a weekend helping her make homemade raviolis and decorating the house. She also follows a pescatarian diet, and we have a few other vegetarians coming to celebrate, so I wanted to create a quick and delicious meat-free entrée. I think being vegetarian for so many years, I am extra in-tune with dietary restrictions of others. I always appreciate when others go out of their way to make sure there are veggie friendly options for me, so I try to do the same!

These sweet potatoes are a perfectly balanced meal in themselves: they have filling fiber (sweet potatoes) and protein (chickpeas) paired with healthy fat (avocado) and a pile of greens for a little extra nutritious kick. The chickpea avocado filling takes 5 minutes to prepare, and you can prep the sweet potatoes the night before and just reheat. They’re also meat-eating boyfriend approved, so everyone at your table is sure to enjoy these.

Are you guys preparing food for people with dietary restrictions this year? I would love to hear what you are making!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few large handfuls of greens (I used Organicgirl Protein Greens)
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub sweet potatoes, then poke a few holes into them with a fork. Roast for about 1 hour until very soft.
  2. In the last 10-15 minutes of sweet potatoes cooking, mash together chickpeas, avocado, lemon juice, cumin, garlic powder, mustard, salt and pepper. Mash some of the chickpeas, but keep some whole.
  3. Let sweet potatoes cool for 10 minutes after roasting. Cut in half lengthwise and mash with a fork to form a small well.
  4. Top each sweet potato half with a handful of greens and a few heaping spoonfuls of chickpea avocado mash. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a little heat, if desired. Serve warm.

Recipe makes 8 servings.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! Happy Holidays!

Vegan Avocado Quesadillas

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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  1.     Preheat a skillet on medium heat.
  2.     Sprinkle cheese shreds on one half of each quesadilla. Add layers of spinach and avocado slices.
  3.     Spread refried beans onto the other half of the quesadilla, and fold each in half.
  4.     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.
  5.     Serve immediately with hot sauce, salsa, extra avocado, etc.

Recipe makes 2 quesadillas.

I hope you guys give this quick and filling recipe a try! Tag @daisybeet and @so_delicious on Instagram 🙂

Avocado Egg Salad Open Face Sandwich

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.

Ingredients

  • ½ of an avocado
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (I used Sir Kensington’s)
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • ½ cup baby Spinach
  • 1 slice whole wheat sourdough bread, toasted

Instructions

  1. Mash the avocado, lemon juice, mustard and garlic salt together in a small bowl
  2. Add chopped eggs to a medium bowl. Mix well with the mashed avocado sauce
  3. Top slice of toast with spinach then pile on the egg salad

I hope you guys try this easy egg salad sandwich for lunch when the craving hits! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a medium cast iron skillet or frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring so garlic does not burn.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add greens and stir to combine until wilted.
  6. Push cauliflower rice to one side of the pan.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk the two eggs together.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 🙂