I make this cucumber, tomato and chickpea salad, on average, once a week. It’s so easy I could probably make it in my sleep. It’s my go to healthy snack or a quick side for lunch or dinner. I’m sure hubs is sick of it at this point but he continues to eat it with a smile on his face so I will continue to make it.
I make a lot of variations of this salad but the recipe below is generally the basis. It takes 5-10 minutes to put together, depending on how good you are with a knife and prepping the veggies, which is really the only work you have to do. This recipe makes a lot but I keep it on hand in the fridge all week long and, as mentioned above, eat it for snacks or serve it alongside whatever I’m having for dinner.
FYI, this salad screams summer. It’s great to bring to a pot luck or a barbecue. It’s a perfect, easy side dish for any summer party. (more…)
In an effort to save money I’ve been avoiding the grocery store and cooking from my pantry, of which I have to say I’m quite proud. It’s fully stocked and newly organized. It’s a walk-in pantry and one of my favorite features of the house. Sometimes, especially when the rest of my house has become cluttered, I just take a walk inside my pantry and stare at the neatly packed shelves.
The process of organizing the pantry was a lofty undertaking but a necessary one in order for me to take stock of what we actually had on hand, which turned out to be a lot. So, this week I’ve been cooking solely from the pantry, trying to use canned items, dried beans, oils and vinegars, etc. One item I’ve used twice in two different dishes is lentils.
Dish # 1 was lentils, spinach and chicken sausage. It was flavored with bay leaves and thyme and salt and pepper. Very hearty and healthy. I used brown lentils in this one. Recipe to come.
Dish # 2 was this delicious lentil curry. The dish reminded me of Indian Dahl because it utilizes some of the same flavors like garam masala, turmeric, garlic and ginger. I used a spicy curry paste to kick up the heat and added a splash of lime juice and cilantro to brighten the whole thing up at the end. It was spicy, warm and comforting, especially served with naan for dipping. I had to stop myself from going back for seconds…or, if I’m being honest, thirds. (more…)
I’m constantly looking for ways to eat more vegetables and if your curious as to why, check out my previous post and my recommendation for C.J. English’s book WTF Am I Supposed to Eat?: A Dieter’s Manifesto. I also love chili. It’s super flavorful and comes together really fast. There are lots of variations of chili from the type of meat you use, or lack of meat, i.e. a lentil or vegetarian version, to the spices, vegetables and liquids you choose to flavor it with. I love the versatility of it. This one uses lean ground turkey instead of beef and is packed with flavor from cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. It’s also full of veggies like tomatoes, beans, spinach and onions. (more…)
During the month of February I basically revamped my diet, which has been a long overdue project I’ve been avoiding. I’ve been carrying an extra 20 lbs around for the past 4 years and I finally decided I’d had enough and it was time to get my eating habits under control. I have been unhappy with my weight for a long time and so, instead of complaining about it like usual, I tackled it and really committed to healthy eating. Sigh. It hasn’t been easy especially when results have been slow, which are due to a number of factors that I am ironing out and won’t bore you with here. But I’ve lost about 6 pounds, which is better than nothing, and I feel healthier, which is key. I think my hair is shinier and my skin looks better. So, needless to say I’m going to stick with it. I might not be able to keep up the no dairy, no carb, no sugar, no alcohol thing for much longer but I feel like I can keep those things to a minimum now. After all we really shouldn’t be “on a diet” so to speak. We should be making a “lifestyle change”. Any health expert or doctor will tell you that. (more…)
I feel like I’ve been cooking a lot with eggplant lately. Hopefully you’re not sick of it yet! It’s just so good this time of year and I can’t seem to get enough of it. I love it. It’s probably one of my favorite vegetables. Hence, the plethora of eggplant recipes. I also can’t get enough of the local sweet corn around here. It makes me sad to think summer is almost over and that a lot of the fresh vegetables and fruit I love so much will be out of season in a month or so. But, summer’s not over yet! So let’s enjoy it while we can and take advantage of all the delicious food this season brings. This grilled eggplant and corn salad is one way to do that. The hot, grilled eggplant absorbs the tangy vinaigrette and the combination of that with the sweet corn is SO good. I wish I made two batches of the stuff because between my husband and I, it vanished in a couple of hours. (more…)
Hopefully everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend. I enjoyed a blissful 5 days off from work and spent 3 of those days at the beach. It was a good way to offically end summer, although I’m pretending summer isn’t really over yet. I love the warm days and if I’m being honest, I’m never really ready for fall.
Yesterday (Labor Day) we spent the day at my parents house. My mom and I both are trying to lose a few pounds, especially after the extra few we picked up vacationing at the beach so our Labor Day spread was actually very healthy. We had pork tenderloin, hot dogs and sausages for those that wanted them, and TONS of vegetable side dishes including grilled yellow squash, zucchini two different ways (grilled and sauteed in a creamy sauce), salad with homemade croutons, cucumbers in sour cream and vinegar, a cucumber and tomato salad with cilantro, my signature guacamole, and last but not least, a mayo-free potato salad. (more…)
Spaghetti and meat sauce definitely fall under the comfort food category in my book. Especially when the meat sauce is a bolognese and is rich and creamy. Friday was one of those days that just called for comfort food and luckily, I had all the ingredients to make spaghetti and meat sauce.
A lot of meat sauce recipes, although delicious, can be really fattening. Bolognese often is laced with heavy cream. This meat sauce is actually quite healthy. It still had that creamy taste because I used a surprise ingredient, fat free sour cream (Greek yogurt would work equally well). I also “beefed” up the recipe with lots of vegetables, like onions, carrots, and mushrooms and I used a very lean ground beef. I have to say, I wasn’t so sure about adding the mushrooms in but I actually really like the flavor they give the sauce. (more…)
I am, by no means, an expert when it comes to dieting. I am not a health guru, personal trainer, or dietician. I’m just someone who tries to eat in moderation and also happens to enjoy indulging in not-so-good-for-you-foods on occasion. I’m also a Weight Watcher’s member. The reason I like the Weight Watcher program is because it doesn’t restrict any foods. The program is not so much a diet, as it is a healthy lifestyle, based on eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising, and smaller portions. It’s a more realistic approach to weight loss, which is what I like about it so much. In addition to this, the point system and weekly weigh-ins keep me accountable. (more…)