My Awesome Lunch: Easy Chick Pea, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

I had an awesome lunch today. And it took me all of 15 minutes to make it last night.

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Easy Chick Pea, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 English cucumber (quartered and chopped)
  • 1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 a medium red onion (minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced or grated)
  • Juice of half a lemon (or a whole lemon depending on how juicy it is)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix, mix, mix and enjoy. You can eat it solo, on a bed of lettuce, in Romaine lettuce cups, or as a side dish! It’s light, fresh and delicious!

#KitchenLoveAffair (AKA creating Cannellini Ranch Dressing) & #plankadayinMay Challenge

First off…watch tomorrow for some info about #plankadayinMay a challenge to do a plank, any kind each day in May! Sign up through Challenge Loop HERE! I’m working on getting some super sweet prizes for the winners 😉

Second… Happy Monday! Here’s some late afternoon #motivationmonday love…

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This quote really holds a dear place in my heart because even though I know I have special skills, I’ve never thought about myself as inherently talented in the sense that I’m not a great athlete or musician…I have no outstanding external talents that make people go ohhhhh ahhhhhh (that’s not a cry for pity… keep reading)

It’s taken me a long time to appreciate all the internal and amazing talents that I DO possess, that everyone possesses! The question is do we use them to benefit the world? Aristotle posits that that’s where we find our vocation (our purpose) and I would argue where we find true, passionate joy. Part of my joy comes from my #kitchenloveaffair

minnie cooking

This past Saturday I spent about 2 hours in my beloved Minnie Mouse apron prepping for the week to come with pretty awesome results! I’ll share the most absurd and highly creative of the recipes now, but I roasted some veggies, made quinoa burgers, pecan sandies cookies, oat bars, kiwi dressing, and…

brocc soupSuper Easy Broccoli Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli (cut into florets)
  • Cheyenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Water to boil broccoli
  • Chicken/veggie broth

Place the broc in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Allow to boil until you can stick a fork through the stems. Remove brocc placing it in a blender with the spices, a few cups of the water you used boil it, and a squeeze of lemon juice. NOTE: you could use broth to blend the soup for added flavor but either way, it tastes super fresh!

In the pic above I stirred some pre-cooked quinoa into the soup to make it a #powerbowl combo of veggies and protein.

I also made the most absurd sounding and amazing recipe I’ve ever created entirely on my own!

                                                                              Cannellini Ranch Dressing

ranchIngredients:

  • 1 can (15oz) cannellini beans, drained and throughly rinsed
  • 1tsp dried parsley
  • 1tsp black pepper (more if you want a peppercorn ranch flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4C almond milk (or use regular milk if you’re not #dairyfree)
  • drizzle of EVOO

Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times. Then start to drizzle EVOO into the top of food processor until you have the consistency you desire. It’s not exactly like ranch, but it is a darn good substitute for dressing that actually adds protein and healthy carbohydrates to your meal! You’re welcome!

What the craziest thing you’ve ever created in the kitchen? 

And p.s…I also may have spent the vast majority of my Sunday trying to complete this…

#dontjudge

#dontjudge

Hump Day Schmump Day…Spring is here!

Wednesdays are pretty much my favorite days of the week. Mondays are terrible, Tuesdays might possibly be the WORST day of the week, but Mr. Wednesday…you are the day of my dreams! Why, you ask…

#1 This little guy greeted me on my way to the car…

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Let’s hope he makes it!

#2 I get to teach AM spin class AND that means I go into work a bit later than usual AND it’s hump day, which really means 1 more day until Happy Friday!

#3 I love the way it’s spelled…seriously Wed-NES-day… it’s like the red-headed step-child of days of the week, and being a partial red-head I love it

#4 Because I workout in the AM on Wednesdays that means I have the night free to hang out with friends, cook, and catch up on things (a-hem…aka this blog)

I could go on and on, but I digress… I LOVE WEDNESDAYS

It also means I usually have time to make a pretty amazing post-workout lunch (oh the joys of living where you work). Today I made a fiesta salad as my #powerbowladay…

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with mixed greens, yellow and orange peppers, tomatoes, salsa, jalopenos, and I crumbled up one of these amazing 3-bean vegan, GF, DF veggie burgers on top (they’re seriously so good!)

A friend gave me her recipe, which she modified from a Food Network one to make it vegan. I further cannibalized it a bit to make it GF… deconstructivist cuisine at its finest? You decide…

3-Bean Vegan Veggie Burgers

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Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil (get 1 TBSP in a saute pan and heat it up)
  • 1/4 C diced red bell peppers (you could use tri-color to make a rainbow!) 
  • 1/4 C diced jalopenos (I used jarred)
  • 1/4 C diced marinated artichoke heart (again I used jarred)
  • 1/4 C diced black olives
  • 1 15oz can white beans (any kind… I used cannellini beans), drained
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 15oz can chick peas (aka garbonzo beans), drained
  • 1.5 C oats
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 C minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt to taste (or add Bragg’s Aminos!)
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs (to make mine GF I pulsed oats in a food processor and used them instead)
  • 2 eggs (my friend used a little bit of applesauce in hers and I opted for flaxseed eggs in order to make it vegan)
  • EVOO or your fave oil/PAM/etc to cook the burgers

1. Add all of your diced veggies to the heated oil (beans are not veggies FYI).

2. Mix up your flax eggs and make your oat flour if you’re going the GF/Vegan route.

3. Decide if you want chunky, smooth, or somewhere in limbo veggie burgers (I prefer the limbo stage)…

Chunky: simply stir all the ingredients together, form patties, and chill for 30min before cooking.

Smooth: Pulse the beans in a food processor (you may need to add a bit of water to get things working). Add in the veggies and pulse a few more times. At this point transfer everything to another bowl, add all your spices, oats, etc and mix thoroughly (Note: the smooth option means things get sticky and they are thin burgers. Also, you may need to add a bit more oats to make things work together). Form into patties allow to chill for 30min and then cook away!

Limbo: Pulse the beans until roughly chopped. Add them to a separate bowl with your veggies, spices, oats, and the rest of the ingredients. Form patties, allow to chill for 30min, and then cook.

Let me know if you try them out since it’s still a work in progress! 

Is it March already!?

I can’t believe we are already almost a week into March! And that I haven’t posted my final FebruHABITS update! I did pretty good… only missed two days!

Like all my stickers? (I promise I’m really not a nerd)

Finished FebruHABITS

But I think I developed a serious drinking problem… I’ve become a camel! 1 gallon of water everyday sometimes isn’t even enough! I try to stick to just 1 gallon though so that I don’t desalinate my insides too much (and I’ve started craving salt, so I think I’m in the danger zone).

So, how did things wrap up for you guys?! Is there anyone out there who made it through the whole month?  

My reward to myself was…

DISNEY!

Disney!

My cousins and I had a little reunion in Florida for one cousin’s birthday, and we scored some free passes to Disney! (We are going to see Harry Potter later today!!!! again… I promise I’m not a nerd…okay maybe just a little bit)

I’ve eaten so many delicious things it’s not even funny, but I AM starting a new challenge hosted by Powercakes and a few others. It’s called #PowerlBowlADay and you can sign up through this awesome app called ChallengeLoop (you don’t have to download the app tho)! If you’re wondering what a powerbowl is check out the Challenge description… Powercakes describes it all!

Here’s one of my powerbowls from vaca… Powerbowl1

Steamed broc, a can of sodium-free diced tomatoes with chiles, spinach, and some nooch/yogurt sauce. I ate it with some corn chips…um…YUM! I LOVE vegetables…especially broccoli!

Do you have a fave veggie? Or, a favorite meatless dish that could be turned into a powerbowl? I need more ideas!